19 September 2013

Tiara Thursday: Farah's Seven Emerald Tiara

Farah's Seven Emerald Tiara
This unique emerald tiara was made by Harry Winston in 1958 in advance of the marriage of the Shah of Iran and Farah Diba. Much like the Noor-ol-Ain Tiara, which was made in the same time frame for the same purpose, it includes a mix of diamond colors and incorporates old stones from the Iranian crown collection. The heart-shape pointed base is made of a row of platinum-set baguette white diamonds which sit underneath a double row of pink, yellow, and white diamonds. The brilliants are thought to be from the 19th century and Indian in origin; the largest two are 15 carats apiece. The top is set with seven large oval and round cabochon emeralds which are probably from South America and were likely cut before 1738 (when Nadir Shah invaded India). The emeralds range in size from 10 carats each (for the two smallest) to 65 carats (for the large central stone), and are framed in diamonds thought to be from South Africa.
Empress Farah
It's often said to have been Empress Farah's favorite tiara, and she certainly wore it for many important events. It paired particularly well with the large and fashionable tiara hairstyles she was prone to - in fact, a mega updo seems something of a requirement for a tiara like this, with a base constantly threatening to poke you in the head.

Video: In action, towards the end
The tiara may have been a signature piece for the Empress, but it belonged to the crown jewel collection and as such did not come with her when the imperial family fled the country in 1979. In 1937, during the reign of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's father, ownership of the important historical jewels was given over to the state to back the country's monetary system, a purpose they still serve (how's that for collateral, eh?). While they are no longer worn, the jewels are safe and sound and available for public viewing at the Treasury of National Jewels in the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran.

What do you make of this emerald tiara?

Photos: Harry Winston/Point de Vue