A Rose, a Thistle and a Shamrock Spray Diamond Tiara, each representing 1
of the 3 Kingdoms of Great Britain. The center rose is set en tremblent
and the tiara breaks down into five separate brooches with provided
settings. Early 19th century.
The Midnight tiara designed by Charlotte Lynggaard contains “31 flower buds created with over 1,300 small diamond brilliants and polished moonstones set into a structure of leaves and branches hand graved in 18 carat rose and white gold with black oxidized silver.” The tiara, and it’s coordinating collection, was created for
the Tiara Exhibition at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen.
It caught the eye of Crown Princess Mary who borrowed the tiara for Prince Henrik’s 75th birthday in 2009. After that a deal was proposed, Mary doesn’t have to purchase the tiara and the jeweler retains ownership, but they won’t sell it and Mary has exclusive rights to borrow it. I love the uniqueness of the design and it’s materials. I’m also not the biggest fan of jewelry that’s just diamonds, diamonds, and more diamonds. A feel like that’s what a lot of tiaras can end up looking like, so the complete subtlety of the diamonds on the Midnight tiara appeals to me.
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.
the crackling of fire, burnt parchment, loud and joyful laughter, adrenalin flooding through your veins, looking at the horizon and getting a feeling of eternity, a clear blue sky, rooms lit only by firelight, quiet
whispers between friends, shared secrets, the rush of courage when you finally
overcome your fears, black and golden tattoos, sleepless nights, neon lights in
the dark, red lipstick and golden nail polish, leather jackets,
pride and stubbornness, walking arm in arm with your best friends, breaking
into the city pool at night, playing pranks and then running away laughing
the smell of books, delicate silver rings, leather armbands, cold mineral water, the
sound of rain against windows, the silence of a library, heavy old curtains, quills and ink, the joy of accomplished work, myths and legends,
sitting in the shade of a tree,
polaroid photos of moments long gone, intricate
bracelets, starry night skies, smokey eyes, early summer mornings, dew drops, braids, writing novels on old typewriters, white roses, silver tiaras, notebooks in all forms and colours, ink stains on hands, the sound of cat paws on wooden floors, theatre visits, swimming in the ocean at dawn
fairytales, sunlight through windows, dust dancing in sunlight, muffins and
cakes, eating Nutella with a spoon, licking pastry from your fingers, soft
giggling, yellow rubber boots and raincoats, colourful flowers, sunshine on
your face, knitted sweaters, wool socks, roadtrips in the summer, watching your pets sleep peacefully, making your favourite dishes, going on a walk on a warm day; watching the sunlight stream through the
branches and onto the ground, sitting calmly at the edge of the lake and
watching the water move
fast cars, city lights at night, elegant clothing, thunderstorms, red lipstick
stains on wine glasses, smirks; lip bites and winks, high heeled
shoes clicking on the pavement, trench coats, stepping into shallow puddles, cold autumn nights, sunny
winter mornings, frozen landscapes, firewhiskey, the burning sensation when you
swallow alcohol, dancing in a crowd of people as if you are the only one there, the
feeling of letting something go, dark green and silver nail polish, long velvet
curtains, ghost stories at midnight, the light of the moon, mythology and long
forgotten stories, leather bags