British authorities have blocked the export of a coronet worn by Queen Victoria to a foreign buyer, the Press Association reported on Sunday. In an effort to keep the sapphire and diamond-studded crown on British soil, the government is looking for a buyer in Britain to match the price of 6 million pounds.
"I hope that we are able to keep the coronet in the U.K. and on display for the public to enjoy for years to come," Culture Minister Matt Hancock said in comments carried by the Press Association. Designed by Victoria's husband Prince Albert in 1840, the crown is widely seen as one of the most significant objects previously owned by the British monarch.
After Victoria's death, the ornament was passed on to Princess Mary by King George V and Queen Mary, before later being bought by a dealer in London, who had been set to pass it on to a foreign buyer.
Britain's Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects now has until Dec. 27 to find an alternative buyer, and can extend the deadline for the export of the coronet until June 27 if a person living in Britain shows serious intentions of matching the asking price.