The fascinating story of Admiral Lord Nelson’s Chelengk

All the detailis of a precious ornament, which became the most iconic and popular in English history

The Chelengk was the highest military decoration of the Ottoman Empire. The one given to Horatio Nelson by Sultan Selim III as a gesture of honor in the Battle of the Nile in 1798. It became one of the most iconic jewels in England. Writer Martyn Downer tells its story in his most recent book called 'Nelson’s Lost Jewel: The Extraordinary Story of the Lost Diamond Chelengk’, describing it as «one of the most bizarre and immediately recognizable objects in British history.»


Accompanied by thirteen diamond sprigs, each one of the boats conquered during the famous Battle of the Nile, the Chelengk was one of Admiral Lord Nelson’s favorite possesions and he always wore it on his bicorn hat.

In 2017, master goldsmith Philip Denyer recreated a realistic reproduction of the jewel, referring to the original designs. He only used ancient stones cut at the same time the Chelengk was made and he only used traditional techniques.

Reproduced 66 years after the original was stolen from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, Lord Nelson’s Chelengk was presented last March by the Goldsmiths’ Company in London. Adorned with over 300 diamonds, the brilliant brooch has a special rotating mechanism, that is surrounded by lovely enameled flowers.

  • Admiral Lord Nelson.

    Admiral Lord Nelson.

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