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.