Orders, Decorations, and Medals


Orders, decorations or medals are symbols representing the honours conferred upon deserving individuals.  The difference between an Order Decoration, and Medal is subtle and proves to be infinitely confusing to the lay person.



Orders are societies of merit usually given by Royals or Head of States as a token of appreciation and recognition of an outstanding achievement or of exceptional commendable service over a long period of time. Orders usually have different levels or grades and various ways to wear them according to the classes. A recipient who has been promoted within an order wears only the insignia that represents the highest grade, and therefore must remove the insignia of the preceding grade or to return it to the administrator of the Order.


Decorations is conferred for an act of gallantry in combat, or of bravery or meritorious service in a single event or over a specific period of time. The insignia is only awarded once to an individual. If there were further actions that meets the criteria for the same decoration, a bar would be awarded and worn on the initial decoration in order to denote a second award to the recipient.


Medals compromises of participation in a military campaign or operation, service under exceptional circumstances, as well as long and loyal service to the organization. Medals also commemorate royal or national anniversaries and includes the lower classes of Orders in some countries and states such as the 4th and 5th classes. Ribbon bars may also be added to campaign or service medals to specify the service being recognized. On long service awards, ribbon bars denote additional periods of eligible service.





Read more

Metaphor of a Vow


A Tale of a Royal Wedding Gift
In the cool spring morning, tiny droplets of dew glister on blades of leaves, and peals of laughter could be heard just beyond the court. He stood up from his chair and two helpers jolted to attention, fussing over his robe and readying the parasol above his head. He took a deep breath and strolled towards the family picnic. There, under the soft beam of the sun, his loved ones sat in deep conversation, sipping hot butter tea, and snacking on khur le.

Walking towards the centre of the garden, he spotted her in a pure white wonju and kira reading blithely to the little ones. The older ones sat huddle together exchanging stories of summer adventures. It was her eyes that struck him. And her smile. The biggest, most beautiful smile he had ever seen. As he approached, he leaned forward and asked them if they would be interested in leaving for a little hike to find the rare blue poppy and to bring back some cosmos flowers for his mother. “I’ll come along with you,” she turned from her book and gazed into his eyes. He was smitten by her smooth and soft flawless face, innocently smiling back at him.

They and several others took the hike and as they stopped by a field of cosmos flowers, she ran her fingers through the flowers and said, “Let’s leave them here. I’ll paint a picture of them for your mother.” Touched by her warm and kind heart, he found the words of his heart pouring out of his lips , “When we grow up, if I’m single and not married and if you’re single and not married, I would like you to be my wife.” It was there, among the brightly coloured flowers, he made a vow of love to her.
Promises are made as an act of a commitment to something or someone. There are many types of promises; the ones solemnly made such as marriage vows and military oaths, in legal binding contracts enforceable by law or a fairytale promises that are regrettably made and problematic when they are to be honoured. An oath or an affirmation can be a promise but the special ones would be a vow. A vow to signify a commitment made.
Metaphor of Promises

Sometimes vows are made and as humans, it is normal that we tend to waver or even, forget. It is with reminders to ourselves and our loved ones that brings back to mind the commitment, the promise, the vow made. The reminders could come in the little acts of love and at times, represented by an object to symbolise our love. It could be a simple watch, a symbol of time and measurement of the vow that stood or a bespoke gift to send a clearer message of the intent.

Throughout our history as purveyors of fine gifts, ROYAL INSIGNIA demonstrates a sensitivity for poignant wedding gifts such as the bespoke wedding gift for the Bhutan Royal couple, King Jigme Khesar Namgyei Wangchuck and his wife, Jetsun Pema. The gift design was inspired by traditional Buddhist symbology and the bhavacakra (wheel of life), which represents the essence of Buddhist teachings, featured prominently. Gilded in 18 Karat gold, the piece was set with a resplendent melange of precious stones including diamonds, yellow sapphires, rubies and citrines

Read more

The Art of Gifting



It was in the late fall of 2005, on a warm humid night. We were summoned to present ourselves at short notice. The air was still and the instructions plain simple- a gift for her. Our artisans exchanged glances and awkwardly probe him for more details. “What is she like..?” His eyes soften at the thought of her and he gazed away, “I need something meaningful, something grandeur, a bespoke gift.. Nothing that can be bought off the shelf. This is a symbol from me, to her.” He turned back to the artisans, “Do it right.” He abruptly left the room and waved his hands as a granted permission to allow our artisans to roam her quarters as they busied themselves scribbling onto their blank sketchpads.

The interior of the palace were furnished with dark cherry wood furniture cushioned with pale pink and dark red velvet. The tables and shelves were elegantly decorated with ornate gold vases with a huge bouquet of pale pink lilies. We could see pink lilies in almost every corner of the room. One of the artisans lean in to give it a smell, the chamber maid walked into the room and softly say “These are her favourite flowers. He would arrange for a fresh bouquet to be delivered each day.” A calligraphy scroll hung beside the lilies. It was an ancient poem, written so eloquently of Ruyi – a traditional sceptre of good luck. Inspired by what they saw, our artisans bowed to thank for the hospitality as they leave.

jewellery design royal insignia

Back in our atelier, we studied the history of the Ruyi in detail; an s-shaped sceptre with its head having the resemblance of a cloud, the Ruyi -translated into as you wish – is a symbol of luck and good health. Inspired by the poem of this auspicious object, our artisans created a natural landscape composed of her favourite lilies subtly arranged in the flowing form of a Ruyi sceptre. The lilies were carved out of rose quartz and stamens of amethyst briolettes, touches of turquoise green enamel add a final flourish to the petals.

Our artisans stared at their creation, beaming with pride. They did it right. All that’s left was for him to see her eyes lit up with all the love that is being expressed.

ruyi rose quartz objet d'art

Gifting is so much more than the physical exchange of objects — it’s a way to communicate and to send a message to the recipient of the gift. When you put some thought into it and choose a meaningful present, the gift becomes a wish for someone’s happiness or even a peacekeeping gesture. Gifting becomes a message, a gesture of kindness, remembrance, love.

The key to gifting is to get the right gifts. Nothing else would spell disastrous than an inappropriate or a thoughtless gift. How do we do gifting rightfully? Would it be a gift of love? A gift of peace? A gift of respect or empathy? All it takes is for us to understand the three aspects of gifting. We can start with observing, by reflecting upon what kind of luck we would want to wish the recipient and by searching within, what we are trying to express or say in plain words.

Give by Observing

The key to giving a meaningful gift is by observation. People who have mastered the art, pay attention to what their loved ones say and what their interest are. People are constantly dropping hints about what their likes and dislikes are, often when you least expect it. By paying attention to what would make their life easier or what they need replaced, you can almost always pick the perfect unique gift.

Give for Good LuckOn many occasions, like a housewarming party or graduation, you want to give a gift that wishes the recipient good fortune and prosperity. Tap into the myths and symbolism associated with auspiciousness and good luck and get creative. Moonstone, agate, and the owl are thought to bring protection and good fortune, while turquoise, peridot, and the frog are thought to assist in healing. The recipient however may not be superstitious to fully believe the myths behind it but they would definitely appreciate the thought process behind the gifting of wishing them well.

Give as a Form of Expression

Giving gifts are more than just a gesture, it is a message that we put across to the recipient. A message to wish them well, good fortune, peace and love. The great sociologist Marcel Mauss wrote that gift giving comes in threefold- the giving, the acceptance and the reciprocation. To give a gift, we send a message to the recipient whether it is out of love, sympathy, penitent or respect. For the recipient to accept, psychologically, they are accepting the message you are trying to put across. If the recipient reciprocate by giving in return, it shows their mutual understanding and feeling or even to show their initiative to strengthen the relationship and bond.

The Art of Gifting by Royal Insignia
















Read more