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the jewel in the crown

Meaning: If something is the jewel in the crown, it's part of a group or set of similar things, and it's the best of them all.

For example:

  • Sydney's Opera House is the jewel in the crown of modern Australian architecture.

  • Dudley has many companies, but he regards his cable TV channel "World of the Arts" as the jewel in the crown of his business empire.

Origin: Probably related to the fact that the most valuable part of many crowns is a large jewel.

Quick Quiz:

The jewel in the crown of Sir Humphrey's priceless collection of modern art is
  1. Pablo Picasso's "Boy with a Pipe"
  2. a statue of Sir Humphrey's favourite horse
  3. a finger painting by Sir Humphrey's youngest grandson

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