24 November 2011

Tiara Thursday: The Modern Gold Tiara

Since the topic of the week is shiny and new jewels, here’s one of the most distinctive ones to have been added to a royal collection in recent years. Oh, I can’t wait to hear what you guys think about this one...
Modern Gold Tiara with topaz centerpiece
Let’s call it the Modern Gold Tiara. This intriguing gem was a gift from King Harald of Norway to his wife, Queen Sonja, for her 60th birthday in 1997. Unlike traditional tiaras, this is mostly metal on display: strips of gold with tiny diamonds set in gold wedged in between periodically. It comes with earrings and matching necklaces.
Sonja in the topaz version
When it first debuted, reddish orange topaz stones were featured in the center element - the unusual combination of a round stone above a diamond shape. Topaz was also featured in the necklace that matches exactly, and the earrings. Over time we’ve learned that it is actually a convertible piece.
With tourmaline centerpiece
The second version to appear featured a large rectangular green tourmaline center edged in diamonds (this, of course, is the version she tends to wear with her favorite Big Bird yellow gown, much as she does with her larger green stone tiara option). Note that the necklaces and earrings are also transforming; this really is a convertible set.
The third and latest version features more small diamonds in the center, which really highlights the other small diamonds scattered along the sides.
With diamond centerpiece
Modern is the only word for this...well, that and galactic, possibly. Star Wars, Star Trek, Wonder Woman: all valid comparisons. But you have to admit that it is a great match to the quirky queen’s dress sense. (And her daughter’s too, which makes me think it must be destined for Märtha Louise someday in the future.)
It really is an excellent example of a new and modern jewel addition: it features experimentation with different materials, the use of semi-precious stones, and maximum convertibility...but you have to be able to get past the sheer force (see what I did there?) of the design to appreciate all that first, I suppose.

An intriguing modern design, or just a little too far out of this world?

Photos: ANP/Scanpix/PPE