Made in 1906 by Ansorena with over 500 diamonds and platinum, it features the Fleur de Lys, the heraldic emblem of the House of Bourbon. The tiara was a wedding gift from King Alfonso XIII of Spain to his bride Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg (later knows as Queen Ena) The tiara worn only by the Queen of Spain (at present Queen Sofia).
Tiaras like other jewellery are made from precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. These metals are used because they are less reactive but they are also more expensive. The metals used in tiara making (and most other things) are not 100% pure instead the main metal is alloyed with others to improve the strength, durability, malleability, luster, or resistance to corrosion. Also you asked for “nowadays” so all of the tiaras seen here except for one have been made in this millennium.
Gold is probably the most used metal for tiaras. It’s typically but not always used in combination with silver. The diamonds would be set in silver and any other gemstone in gold. Overwhelmingly the tiaras covered here on Tiara Mania are set with both gold and silver but it can also be combined with platinum or white gold or sometimes just used by itself. I’ve seen people say before that there are not very many gold tiaras anymore but just because it’s not in your face yellow gold doesn’t mean it’s not there. Skilled jewellers can set gemstones in a way that very little of the metal is showing but sometimes they use the metal as an important part of the design and not just as something to hold the gemstones like in Joanna Newsom’s Opal Tiara.
Silver is the longest used of the white metals here. It’s cheaper than the other metals but it also easily tarnishes. I think the only recent tiara I’ve covered here that is made of silver only is Princess Marie of Denmark’s Amethyst Lily Tiara but if you look outside of the world of royals you’re more likely to find tiaras made of just silver. Axenoff is a jeweller that is making great tiaras using silver and semi-precious gemstones meaning they’re cheaper though still above my price range.
Platinum became popular in the early 1900s and continues to be popular
to this day so I was surprised to find that the most recent tiara made
of platinum that I’ve covered was made in 1976. It’s a Diamond Tiara made by Van Cleef & Arpels that has been loaned out to several royals including Princess Grace of Monaco. Platinum is stronger and heavier than gold and silver meaning it is more durable but it also means that it is more difficult for a jeweller to work with. In addition to the extra cost of craftmanship needed, the price of the platinum itself is more expensive than the other metals here meaning a very expensive tiara.
White Gold which is an alloy of regular yellow gold and a white metal like nickel but can include several other metals like silver, palladium, or manganese maybe even with some copper or zinc. The whole thing is then plated in rhodium for added strength and whiteness. Out of the 356 tiaras I’ve covered there are only ten of them that I know for sure use white gold. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of white gold tiaras out there, they’re just not royal ones. As white gold has become more popular, royals have come under more scrutiny for their spending on jewels so they buy less tiaras then they used to. But jewellers are still making plenty of tiaras for non-royals who have the money to buy expensive jewellery and are not in the public eye. Which sadly for us means we don’t get to see all of the new white gold tiaras being made. Queen Letizia of Spain’s Fleur de Lys Tiara is one of the few new royal tiaras and it is made of white gold.
Unless the jeweller makes it known which metal was used, it’s usually impossible for us to tell the various white metals apart from each other. Understandably, the gemstones are considered more interesting so sometimes the jeweller will release information about the gemstones and forget about the metal. For example, when Van Cleef & Arpels made the Ocean Tiara for Princess Charlene of Monaco in 2011, they released all sorts of information about the gemstones but nothing about the metal. It’s clearly a white metal we just don’t know which one.
Personally I like it when jewellers experiment with metals like Crown Princess Mary of Denmark’s Midnight Tiara which uses rose gold, white gold, and black oxidized silver.
Or Boucheron’s Emerald Ivy Tiara which is made with black gold and has been worn by Queen Rania of Jordan and Dita von Teese.
This tiara, considered the most important diadem of their collection, called “La Buena” (The Good one) and only worn by the Queens of Spain, was a wedding present from King Alfonso XIII to his bride, Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. Made in 1906 by Ansorena with more than 500 diamonds set in platinum, it features the Fleur de Lys, the Bourbon’s emblem.
From the beginning, this diadem became one of the favorites of the young Queen, who was married wearing it and chose it for her first photo session as Queen of Spain in 1906. Her Majesty was photographed and painted with the Fleur de Lys on numerous occasions. Shortly after her wedding the Queen opened the tiara and started wearing it in its current form. Queen Victoria used the tiara throughout her life, and unlike many of her tiaras and jewels, she never lent it to her daughters, the Infantas Beatriz and María Cristina.Queen Victoria Eugenia lent the tiara to her daughter-in-law, the wife of the Head of the Family, on a few occasions, one of them for the coronation of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 1953.
In her will, the late Queen Victoria Eugenia left the Fleur de Lys tiara to her son Don Juan, Count of Barcelona and pretender to the Spanish throne. The tiara was left for the exclusive use of the Queens so when King Juan Carlos was proclaimed King in 1975, his mother, the Countess of Barcelona passed the tiara to the new Queen, Sofía of Greece and Denmark. Queen Sofía has used the Fleur de Lys tiara on the grandest occasions, like State Visits from other Monarchies or the 60th Jubilee of the King of Thailand in 2006, the last time she wore the tiara. Following tradition, the next wearer of the tiara would be the Princess of Asturias after her husband becomes Felipe VI, King of Spain.
Tiara de las Flores de Lis; Made of platinum and diamonds forming the Fleur-De-Lys, the heraldic emblem of the House of Bourbon, dates back to King Alfonso XIII who offered it to his bride Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, later known as Queen Ena, as a wedding gift in 1906. The Fleur-De-Lys Tiara is said to be the most cherished tiara of The Royal Family of Spain and only passes on from Queen to Queen.