02 August 2013

Readers' Ultimate Tiara Collection: Pick Your Amethyst and Turquoise!

As I mentioned earlier this week, we're going to entertain ourselves during the slow late summer by speeding up our tiara games, and just to show you I mean it, I'm throwing another double choice at you. This one should be interesting. It's time to...

Pick your ultimate amethyst tiara!


Pick your ultimate turquoise tiara!

First up, the amethysts. Amethyst tiaras aren't as common among our regular royal collections as the staple gems, or even other stones like aquamarines. But long time readers know that I die for any and all things purple, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the delicious grape stone gets its own slot here. A selection for you (watch out for links, as usual):

2. Queen Mary's Amethyst Tiara, previously in the British collection, since sold
3. The Londonderry amethysts, from the collection of the Marquess of Londonderry, currently on display at the V&A museum
4. An amethyst tiara from Luxembourg, with rectangular amethysts
5. An amethyst bandeau from Luxembourg, with oval amethysts and what look to be pearls
6. An amethyst tiara that belonged to Queen Alexandra, and has since passed out of the family
7. The Flora Danica Tiara, newly available for Princess Marie of Denmark's use, but not yet worn publicly

2. An amethyst tiara, frequently confused for Queen Alexandra's mystery amethyst tiara above, but with several design differences
3. An antique gold and amethyst tiara (with accompanying set), from approximately 1880
5. Another amethyst piece from Queen Alexandra, a necklace convertible to a tiara, also since passed out of the family and sold

Second, and this one should really be interesting - it's time for turquoise. I can see some of you frowning in my general direction. Turquoise is not a universally popular tiara material. Many of you are American, as am I, and in this country turquoise is often used in a casual jewelry context, and is quite associated with Southwestern or Native American styles. So to see it alongside diamonds in formal jewelry...that can take some getting used to. (And there will always be those, regardless of background, that don't like the contrast between the finishes here.) But the fact is that turquoise has a long and rich history of use in jewels and tiaras, and the truly fine stuff is a whole different story from what you can buy on the cheap. I didn't originally like turquoise tiaras, but they've grown on me. You have to find the one that will convert you, I think. Perhaps one of these will do the trick:

2. The Persian Turquoise Tiara, from the collection of the late Princess Margaret
3. A tiara from the collection of Empress Marie-Louise of France, previously set with emeralds but since sold and replaced with turquoise; this one can be seen at the Smithsonian (this portrait shows the scale, in the original emeralds)
5. The Turquoise Daisy Bandeau, from the collection of Queen Margrethe

1. A diamond and turquoise floral tiara, from Mellerio
2. A turquoise tiara of oak leaves and acorns
3. The turquoise and diamond tiara worn by Philomena de Tornos on her wedding day
5. A replica of a tiara from the Russian imperial collection, made for Queen Olga of Greece and left to her son, Prince Christopher
3. The Westminster Halo Tiara, which had its large diamonds replaced by turquoise for a time after it was sold
4. Queen Maud's Turquoise Tiara, in the collection of Princess Astrid of Norway

Ready to vote for your favorite?
-Vote for two tiaras in the comments, one amethyst and one turquoise. (If you're mentioning multiple tiaras in your comment, indicate which two get your vote, or I will just count the first applicable two. One comment vote per person, please.)
-I will also count the number of "likes" or up arrows on those comments, so you can vote that way too.
-Non-royal tiaras and tiaras that no longer exist are fair game too.

Voting is open until Monday!

UPDATE: Thanks for all your contributions, voting is now closed!

Photos: Kongehuset/Getty Images/Cour grand-ducale/Flora Danica/Geoffrey Munn/Corbis/Christie's/Smithsonian/Life