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The crown ‘fever’ in the luxury jewelry industry

The tiara was one of the most talked-about accessories at this year’s Met Gala, where celebrities like Blake Lively and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour wore them. Once a symbol of power and status, today jewelers like Garrard, Cartier and Boucheron are trying to create modern women’s versions of the crown.

Meaning of crown

Sotheby’s jewelry expert Uni Kim explains how the crown has evolved through the ages, with a legend that the Greek god Dionysus, ruler of wine and joy, is responsible for responsible for creating them.

“From humble materials such as flowers and leaves that make garlands to the splendid metal and gems that hang on the heads of kings and queens, crowns have been ubiquitous throughout history. Usually, they are a symbol of rank and honor, such as given to the winner of a contest,” said Uni Kim.

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Actor Blake Lively and the crown at the 2022 Met Gala. Photo: Getty Image

Although royal families have worn crowns for centuries to show their status, the crown has long been more accessible and associated with romance. Kim pointed to a trend where Asian brides wear tiaras at their weddings, as Chinese actress Angelababy chose to wear accessories from the Chaumet brand at her lavish 2015 wedding.

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The editor-in-chief of Vogue and the tiara at the Met Gala. Photo: Getty Image

This new tradition may have been influenced by royal weddings, such as princesses, princesses Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, Eugine, which often wear tiaras from the family collection. The Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara for Princess Eugine’s wedding is estimated to be the most valuable of the three when made from 93.07 carat emeralds with an estimated value of up to $ 13 million, according to jeweler Steven Stone.

The crown of luxury jewelry manufacturers

During this year’s Met Gala event, with the theme of “America’s golden age”, the bronze crown from Lorraine Schwartz brand on the head of actress Blake Lively was the highlight of the event, the design was inspired by Statue of Liberty with 25 gems representing the 25 windows in the statue’s crown.

Designers also approach the royal family in different ways, from century to century. While they were originally made to be worn as large versions, jewelers from the 1990s onwards created versions on earrings, pendants, necklaces, etc. Queen Elizabeth’s 1888 Kokoshnik crown Features 61 diamond-encrusted bars, which can be transformed into a necklace by removing the fixing bars.

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Queen Elizabeth’s crown. Photo: Cartier

Over the years, the world of luxury fashion also approached the crown. In the ’90s, designer Gianni Versace crafted a Versace Tiara featuring Medusa motifs and over 100 carats of diamonds. The accessory won the 1995 De Beers International Award and has been worn by stars like Madonna.

Today, heritage designs such as Chaumet and Garrard are creating new options, while old works are also making a comeback in the public eye. International magazine editor Hamish Bowles recently wore a rare 1950 tiara crafted by Italian jeweler Fulco di Verdura, who has collaborated with Coco Chanel and Salvador Dali’s. Meanwhile, a 1930s Cartier tiara sold for $482,000 at Sotheby’s jewelry auction in April.

Today, the crown is a symbol of celebration, an important occasion or as an heirloom to be passed on to the next generation.

Photo: Synthesis

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