In Númenor, the power of the Kings and Queens was symbolised by a Sceptre, held by Elros Tar-Minyatur and his descendants until the time of Ar-Pharazôn.

Among the early Kings, it was normal to voluntarily surrender the Sceptre to the heir, but this tradition was abandoned in later years. Ar-Pharazôn carried the Sceptre with him when he sailed to attack Valinor, and it was lost with the King and all his armies.

In Middle-earth, however, the exiled Númenóreans maintained their tradition, and their High King held the Sceptre of Annúminas, which had been the symbol of the Lords of Andúnië in Númenor.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by atalante_star