Each nation has its own particular treasures, so considered for their symbolic and patrimonial value rather than for the superficial monetary value they may have (which is often invaluable). They are symbols that harbor the pride and historical essence of a country and, for this reason, are revered by the population.
The crown of St. Wenceslas is probably the object that best fulfills this mission in the Czech Republic. It was ordered to be built by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV of Bohemia in 1347 and it was his will to donate it to the state so that his successors could wear it. In fact, from then on it would only be used for such special events, that is, the coronation of the future monarchs of the Bohemian throne. Until 1836, 22 Bohemian kings have worn it during their respective coronations, the last one being Ferdinand V. Marie Terezie was the only woman on that list. Charles IV himself dedicated it to the legendary patron saint of the Czech Republic: King St. Wenceslas.
The beautiful relic is made of pure gold, weighs about 2.5 kg, measures 19 cm in height (including the cusp cross) and as many in diameter and contains a total of 19 sapphires, 44 spinels, 1 ruby, 30 emeralds, and 20 pearls.
As a sign of its great value is how strongly guarded it is. It is in a protected chest in a chamber in the St. Vitus Cathedral of Prague Castle (as Charles IV would have ordered at the time, although it has not always been there) sealed by a steel door with seven locks. The keys are in the possession of the most important personalities of the country: the President, the Prime Minister, the Archbishop of Prague, the Chairmans of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, the Dean of the Metropolitan Chapter of the cathedral and the Lord Mayor of Prague. The architect of this tradition was King Leopold II, who established it in 1791. Needless to say, the relic (and other objects from the treasury) is hidden from prying eyes and is only exposed to the public every 5 years, during the presidential elections (as a reminiscence of the ancient coronations), and only for a few days. Thus, it is normal to wait in queues of 4 hours to see it (a little trick is to visit the Karlštejn castle, where there is a fairly faithful replica).
As if the halo of sacredness in which the crown is wrapped were not enough, it is supposed that the cross at the top, hollow inside, guards one of the thorns of the crown of thorns of Christ, making it a true spiritual relic of Christianity.
Legend has it that a terrible curse would befall anyone who crowned himself with it without the necessary legitimacy to be king, so that he would die within a year. That is what Reinhard Heydrich, the bloodthirsty Nazi governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, did. It is said that, during a visit to St. Vitus Cathedral in 1941, he crowned himself with it. The following year he would pass away after being assassinated as part of Operation Anthropoid.
Prague Castle for Visitors (2021). The Bohemian Crown Jewels [online] available in: https://www.hrad.cz/en/prague-castle-for-visitors/other/the-bohemian-crown-jewels-10273
Wikipedia (2021). Crown of Saint Wenceslas [online] available in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_of_Saint_Wenceslas