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Article: Tiara


Description and Models of Tiaras

  • Modern tiaras are (semi-)circles made of silver, gold, or platinum.
  • Tiaras can also be made from tortoiseshell, coral, quartz, horn, or aluminum.
  • They are richly decorated with precious stones, pearls, or cameos.
  • Common decorative elements include arcs, garlands, circles, stars, and stylized flowers or leaves.
  • Tiaras can contain hundreds to thousands of gemstones, with diamonds being the most common.
  • Bandeau: a tiara in the shape of a ribbon or hairband.
  • Kokoshnik: a tiara with a massive wall of gemstones, based on the Russian headdress.
  • Circlet: a tiara that extends around the circumference of the head.
  • Fringe: a tiara with a fringed trim of diamonds, also wearable as a necklace.

Wearing, Comfort, and Etiquette

  • Tiaras are worn on the head or around the forehead, depending on the model and fashion.
  • Wearing a tiara can cause headaches, so they are often attached to a cushioned supporting frame.
  • Some tiaras can be disassembled and worn as individual elements like a necklace or brooch.
  • Tiaras may be part of a matching set called a parure, which includes other jewelry pieces.
  • Tiaras are worn at events with a white tie dress code, excluding events in hotels.
  • Any woman can wear a tiara to events with a white tie dress code, regardless of title.
  • Traditionally, young women only wore tiaras after marriage, usually owned by their birth family.
  • Married women should wear tiaras owned by their husband's family or their own personal property.
  • Unmarried princesses were allowed to wear tiaras from the age of eighteen.
  • Special black tiaras made of jet, onyx, glass, or steel are worn with mourning clothes.

History of Tiaras

  • The word 'tiara' originates from Persian head-dresses encircled by diadems.
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans used gold to make wreath-shaped head ornaments.
  • Tiaras and diadems declined with the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity.
  • European princesses and queens wore crowns, and brides wore bridal crowns in the Middle Ages.
  • Tiaras became popular in the late 18th century, inspired by Neoclassicism and the Empire style.

20th and 21st Century Trends

  • Jugendstil and Art Nouveau blurred the line between jewelry and art.
  • René Lalique and Henry Wilson created artistic tiaras.
  • Tiaras became less fashionable after World War I due to social and economic changes.
  • Tiaras were designed to be easy to wear with short hair during the Art Deco period.
  • Tiaras briefly reappeared in the 1960s with the high-cropped beehive hairstyle.
  • Tiaras are now worn almost exclusively at state banquets, royal weddings, and coronations.
  • Some auction houses and jewelers have seen increased interest in tiaras in the 21st century.
  • Versace made a tiara worn by Madonna.
  • The Danish royal family has a tiara designed in 2009 for an exhibition.
  • Tiaras are no longer required at white-tie occasions.

Collections and Costume Jewelry Tiaras

  • Queen Elizabeth II has the largest and most valuable collection of tiaras.
  • Many of her tiaras are heirlooms of the British royal family.
  • Queen Mary purchased the Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara and had a tiara made for the Delhi Durbar.
  • The Swedish, Danish, Dutch, and Spanish monarchies have tiara collections.
  • The Romanov dynasty had a collection until the revolution of 1917.
  • The Iranian royal family had a large collection of tiaras, now housed at the National Jewelry Museum in Tehran.
  • Realistic copies may be made and worn in place of exceptionally old and valuable tiaras.
  • Queen Mary of the United Kingdom wore the Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara.
  • Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran had a tiara.
  • The midnight tiara was made in 2009 and worn by Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
  • Tiaras made of non-precious materials are considered costume jewelry.
  • They are worn on special occasions such as homecoming, prom, quinceañera, and weddings.
  • Beauty pageant winners and children dressing up as Disney princesses also wear them.
  • Plastic, rhinestones, and Swarovski crystals are common materials for costume jewelry tiaras.

Tiara Data Sources

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