What are KBE stars?

Was: Drilling holes in pearls

I wrote to Helen Hill regarding making my own drills from sewing
needles, In my note to Helen I mentioned drilling KBE stars, well
Hellen is in the UK and hopefully knows what a KBE is. For all of you
outside of the UK a KBE star is a cermonial badge, made of silver and
gold which is presented by our Monarch to those created Knights of
“The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” to give you it’s
full title. When I first started in my trade as an apprentice
goldsmith I worked for a company who made most of the ceremonial
stars and badges of the United Kingdom orders. We also made regalia
and stars and badges for many other countries including, Canada,
Jordan, Libya, Abu Dhabi, Oman and Malaysia. I served a six year
apprenticeship and a further three years as a journeyman goldsmith
and finally six years as a master goldsmith at this company, a total
of fifteen years of my working life making items of civic and royal
regalia, mainly for Garrard the Crown Jewellers. To date I have been
a working goldsmith for over forty six years and I have made
everything from a simple photo frame up to Faberge’ type Easter Eggs.

Peace and good health to all Orchideans
James Miller FIPG. a Master Goldsmith in the UK

Hi James,

Please forgive my ignorance but I wasn’t previously aware of what a
KBE star was. I was aware of OBE and MBE and also CBE but hadn’t
heard of KBE.

Whatever it was, it was clear from your description that it entailed
a great deal of very detailed work, as all your work does. I’ve
googled the KBE stars and found the following pictuRe:


Is this what you used to work on?

By the way I am looking forward to your book being released. Keep us

Helen Hill

Thank you so much for that explanation and now I don’t feel so dumb
not knowing what they are. I thought it was some sort of jewelry
designation but had no clue. Here we also have exotic decorations for
extensions of our “royalty”. Like mouth grills for rappers. Anybody
ever made one of those?


Like mouth grills for rappers. Anybody ever made one of those? 

Here in TN (US) they’ve outlawed the actions of jewelers practicing


Do you have any photos of the medals, badges, regalia? Is there a
company website with any pictures?

I would very much like to see this work and have googled wit little