A very important item that is most definitely a piece of jewelry that was quite crucial for royalty for centuries upon centuries, and still today, is the tiara. Although this festive jewelry piece has made somewhat of a comeback, appearing on brides across the globe as well as on young girls at their various coming-of-age parties and on statement-making celebrities, the rightful place for genuine tiaras remains in royal hands.
The most extraordinary tiaras of all time belonged to or still belong to royalty. Among these many headpieces, a great deal include the precious sapphire. For centuries, blue has been a color reserved for royalty (have you ever heard the expression royal blue?) Here is a look at ten of the most breathtaking royal sapphire tiaras.
Let’s get a little royal jewelry lingo out of the way – a tiara is meant for the head (sometimes made to be convertible into a necklace as well). A parure is a royal jewelry set.
1. The Nassau Tiara
Though this tiara is by no means simple, it is still the most simplistic tiara on this list in terms of the amount of stones used, as well as the intricacy of the design. The Nassau Tiara, which was most likely created sometime between 1865 and 1870, showcases a large cushion-shaped blue sapphire that can be removed and worn separately. A floral motif displaying leaves and berries, comprised of rose-cut diamonds, brilliant diamonds, yellow gold, and white gold, and surrounds the sapphire on both sides. This regal piece once belonged to the wife of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Princess Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau, who was the Duchess of Luxembourg between 1890 and 1905.
2. Maria Feodorovna’s Sapphire Bandeau
Similar to the Nassau Tiara, the Maria Feodorovna Sapphire Bandeau is elegant yet minimalistic. This tiara also features one single center sapphire, with rays of diamonds coming from it.
3. The Ocean Tiara
In contrast to the former two tiaras, and many of the other tiaras on this list, the Ocean Tiara is a rather new addition to a royal collection. Prince Albert II of Monaco had the Ocean Tiara commissioned for his wife, Princess Charlene Wittstock. It was one of the many gifts he gave his new wife. The tiara was crafted by none other than Van Cleef & Arpels, and it pays tribute to Charlene’s South African heritage as well as her status as an Olympic swimmer. Doubling as a necklace, and with removable sections that can be worn separately, this piece is both stunning and significant. The crown displays curves, embellished with diamonds and sapphires in various shades of blue, which are intended to create the appearance of waves of the world’s many seas. Among the “waves” are drops of water, represented of course by pear-shaped diamonds. The largest of the 11 diamonds is over 4 carats in size.
4. Queen Victoria’s Sapphire Coronet
Prince Albert, who was very much in love with Queen Victoria, designed this special tiara for her. Queen Victoria was so partial to this compact coronet that she made it the only piece of jewelry she was willing to wear after she became widowed. Cushion and kite-shaped sapphires set in yellow gold, as well as diamonds set in silver, adorn this exceptional headpiece.
5. The Dutch Sapphire Tiara
The Dutch Sapphire Tiara takes us straight into a whole new level of luxury with this tiara that features 33 sapphires and 655 diamonds set in platinum.
6. Queen Marie-Amelie’s Sapphire, Diamond, and Pearl Parure Tiara
This tiara displays seven oval-shaped blue sapphires, many diamonds, and an addition of pearls. The pearls add a touch of youth and tenderness to the otherwise very mature and elegant headpiece. The set includes three brooches, earrings, and a belt buckle.
7. George VI Victorian Suite Tiara
Queen Elizabeth II received a beautiful necklace and earrings set in 1947 from her father, King George VI, in honor of her marriage. The George Victorian Suite consisted of a sapphire and diamond necklace and matching sapphire and diamond earrings. In 1963, Queen Elizabeth commissioned a tiara and bracelet to match the already phenomenally regal set.
8. The Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure Tiara
This tiara is much more crown-like than tiara-like. Large in size and studded with many significantly-sized sapphires, the tiara is as regal and sophisticated as they come. The set includes a matching necklace and a pair of dangling earrings.
9. Queen Marie Amelie’s Sapphire and Diamond Parure Tiara
This parure’s tiara includes large sapphires, mined in Sri Lanka, as well as diamonds. The tiara, like many others here, can be taken apart and worn as several separate pieces. The parure has a matching necklace, which consists of oval-shaped sapphires surrounded by diamonds, earrings, a large brooch, and a pair of smaller brooches.
10. The Barberini Sapphire Parure Tiara
It may not be the largest tiara or the one with the most sapphires and diamonds, but it definitely wins the prize for being the most unique. The Barberini Sapphire Parure Tiara was created to resemble a wreath of flowers. This fresh and romantic look is very different from the styles commonly seen in royal tiaras.
It is quite impressive and fascinating how ten different tiaras, essentially all created from similar materials and for the same purposes, can differ so greatly. However, if you bear in mind that each piece was created for a specific individual, it is understandable how each tiara has its own unique essence.
Which tiara is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!