I’m going to let you in on a little secret: while I love a ruby, sapphire or emerald and diamond tiara, and even a pearl piece now and then, the aquamarine tiara, especially when worn by someone with intense ocean blue eyes, is possibly my favorite combo. Aqua tiaras can be hard to pull off – the cuts required to best show off an aquamarine don’t always lend themselves to the best tiara motifs. But you know who nailed it? The last Tsarina of Russia. Her Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara is a stunning example of how it can be done right.
Reportedly created for Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (who had some amazing tiaras) around 1900, the tiara features lines and arches of diamonds and also showcases 16 graduated rectangular aquamarine stones set in platinum. We don’t have any photographs of the Empress in the tiara, but it’s not a stretch to think it was truly hers; she had an amazing a Fabergé brooch with an exquisite and large Siberian aquamarine which was an engagement present from Nicholas II.
This too was confiscated by the Bolsheviks during the revolution and sold off (we actually know where this one headed off to as it left the hands of the Revolutionists). It was initially purchased by Morris Wartski, an antique dealer based in England that specialized in Russian jewelry and artwork. However, it was auctioned off yet again, this time with a matching necklace and pair of earrings in 1980. And then again at a private sale in 2014 at Christie’s, listed this time as the “property of a European Noble Family.”
It’s unknown, at least by those of us considered to be commoners, who owns the Aquamarine Kokoshnik Tiara today. It may have appeared (or maybe it’s a very realistic copy?) on the head of a new and reltatively unknown royal, Queen Carolyn of Ladonia (to be honest, today was the first day I’ve ever heard of her). How do you feel about it? Do you like aquas set into a tiara? Should we organize a troupe to embark on a search for it? Share your thoughts with me.
I much prefer the Swedish Aquamarine Kokoshnik made by Koch. I agree with what you say about the wearer of aquamarine having blue eyes. I believe Princess Madeleine’s spirit animal is the Swedish Aquamarine, they were definitely made for each other. Then it further cemented my love for them together when Princess Madeleine wore the Swedish Aquamarine to her Princess tea party for sick little girls 😭😭 Madeleine’s princess tea party has got to be my absolute favorite recent royal event, it’s definitely when I developed a girl crush on Madeleine ❤ She is my favorite royal lady of today. Certain royals have made it abundantly clear they don’t want to be thought of as some generic stereotypical Disney princess in a princess dress, and I get it, and good for them, but when Madeleine embraced that stereotype and donned the most gorgeous princess dress to bring smiles to the faces of the little sick girls who want to grow up and be a princess, that just touched my soul and I adore her for it.
What’s not to love about that?! With great power (or with a closet full of tiaras) comes great responsibility. She seems to use hers wisely. 😉
The first photo, and the photo of the Queen of Ladonia show replicas made by the bespoke atelier in England that made the replicas for many films and TV shows, including “The Crown” and “Victoria”.
I collect tiaras (350 and counting), and have many replicas from this atelier, including this Aquamarine Kokoshnik, the Kochli Sapphire Tiara, and the Westminster Halo Tiara.
I figured it was a replica but had no idea who would have made it. Are they of good quality and fairly realistic in person?
There is really no Queen of Ladonia, not even a country or state of Ladonia. It’s just someone (in this case a local council) disgruntled with the government – Sweden. So they elected their own head of state in protest, no validity what so ever. There is a trend for these microstates usually started in an artist colony or hippy commune, someone decides they will be monarch of their own backyard and declares it to be so. I doubt very much that is the original Russian tiara….she is an office worker and the locals are mostly farmers and state park workers , unlikely they could afford the price.
Yes. We understood all of that when we wrote the article. 😉
I like the tiara but she does not do it justice.
Beautiful tiara. I, also, have never heard of her. Let’s go!
She has quite the story. I say we go to Europe immediately and investigate!