In 2010, Russia named Irina Antonenko their representative to the Miss World pageant. The beauty from Yekaterinburg did not only receive $100,000 as prize money, she also had the grand privilege of bringing her country pride. Antonenko, moreover, became the first person to bear what people call ‘the most expensive crown’ in the world.
Crowning Glory, Literally
The crown, created by the Yuvelirny Teatr (Jewelry Theater), has a base made of white hallmark 750 gold. Astounding gems bedeck the crown, including 14 rare pearls and a massive 19-mm pearl. Furthermore, 2,358 diamonds were set in it. All in all, the crown weighed 62 carats and has an estimated worth of more than $1Million.
People easily called Russia’s white gold, diamond-encrusted crown the most expensive beauty pageant crown. It is, however, not the most lavish crown in history.
Not the Most Expensive Ever, Though
The most expensive crown ever made is still the United Kingdom Crown Jewel — the one used in the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. St. Edward’s crown, altered to fit the Queen’s head for her coronation in1953, was made of solid gold. It weighed nearly five pounds, and was set with yellow and white topazes, tourmalines, rubies, sapphires, amethysts, garnets, zircons, peridots, aquamarines and spinels. These gems were rose and step cut before being mounted in enamelled gold collets. The velvet cap and an ermine band only added to the crown's grandeur.
The estimated price of the crown is $39 million. While there are other, pricier pieces on the market, its sentimental value puts it on the top spot for the most expensive crown ever. Just like what makes antique gold coins valuable, the history behind the crown makes it priceless.
While these pieces are not something one can wear as an everyday hair accessory, they signify important milestones in the life of their owners. There is, moreover, a certain pride in owning exquisite, custom-made jewellery: you revel in the idea that there is no person in the world that owns such piece other than you.