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Ok, a while back Ferrebeekeeper poked some fun at the royal crown of Holland.  Thriftiness is a famous national characteristic of the Dutch and the coronation crown, made of fish paste and thinly gilded metal certainly encapsulates that dubious virtue. However, the Dutch had a globe spanning empire for a long time and do they have some exceedingly nice things.  Here is the Dutch Sapphire tiara, an 1881 love gift from King Willem III of the Netherlands to his wife, Queen Emma.  The magnificent tiara features 33 blue sapphires and 655 diamonds set in platinum.  The shape is meant to evoke the great Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages, but the workmanship is the finest the 19th century had to offer. A number of the stones are mounted “en tremblant”, which means they are attached to subtle springs which vibrate slightly with movement causing them to scintillate and glisten even more dazzlingly!

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Here it is being worn by Queen Maxima of Holland.  Maxima is a great name for a queen!

The Gandik Diraja, the crown of the Queen of Malaysia

Known as the “Gandik Diraja”, the crown of the Queen of Malysia is a diadem made of diamonds and platinum.  The crown centers around a large diamond star and crescent which are surrounded by abstract “awan larat” designs.  The crown is also a transformer and can be taken apart to form a locket and a set of brooches (if wearing a crown seems to ostentatious, and the queen yearns for the modest elegance of, you know, huge platinum diamond brooches).   In 1984, the Gandik Diraja was created from a previous version by Garrard jewelers, an ultra-luxury jeweler in London.

Malaysia has an unusual version of monarchy in which the king (or more properly the Yang di-Pertuan Agong) is elected every 5 years from among the rulers of the nine Malay states.  The Gandik Diraja therefore gets passed around a lot! It was designed to be bland (well, bland for a huge jeweled hat) so that it would go with many different outfits and suit the varying tastes of lots of different royal consorts.  The tiara is accompanied by the Kalung Diraja, a large diamond and platinum necklace which unaccountably looks like echinoderms or spiders. Just like the diadem, the necklace can be taken apart and worn as earrings and brooches.  Who knew that Malysian royalty had such a penchant for brooches?

The Kalung Diraja

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