Since its first-ever pageant in 1952, the Miss Universe competition has bestowed its winners with a stunning crown made of some of the world’s most precious materials, including diamonds. From crowns specially made for the international pageant to royal headpieces given to the organization, they have always been show-stoppers.
Throughout the pageants, almost 70-year history, 10 crowns have been made or passed onto the pageant, and crowned upon the head of the winner. Some of the early crowns were made with pearls and rhinestones, but the more recent crowns, including this year’s Mouawad stunner, have been covered in diamonds.
Below, you’ll find a glimpse at some of our favorite crowns in the pageant’s history and some fun facts about the diamond pieces.
Romanov Imperial Nuptial Crown
The first crown to ever be handed out was the Romanov Imperial Nuptial Crown and was believed to be made with 1,535 flawless diamonds. As you can tell from the name, it was once owned by a Russian tzar and it was only used for 1 year.
The next crown to feature natural diamonds didn’t come onto the scene until 2002, with the Mikimoto crown, the then-official jewelry sponsor of the Miss Universe organization.
The crown has 500 diamonds weighing almost 30 carats, 120 South Sea and Akoya pearls, ranging in size from 3 to 18 mm diameter and is valued at $250,000.
CAO Fine Jewelry Crown
In 2008 a new crown was unveiled from CAO Fine Jewelry of Vietnam and consisted of over 1,000 precious stones, including 44 carats of diamonds.
Although it was only used for 1 year of the pageant, every aspect of its design was connected back to Vietnam: The yellow gold represented the country’s healthy economy, and the crane represented the spirit and culture of Vietnam. Other colors used in the crown represented inspiration and feeling, while the heart is meant to reflect faith, hope and unity.
The next natural diamond crown used in the international pageant was the DIC crown, which stands for Diamond International Corporation, and is one of the most recognizable Miss Universe crown to date.
The crown is said to be inspired by the New York cityscape, specifically Manhattan and features five large topaz stones, 198 sapphires, 311 diamonds and 33 translucent Bohemian crystals and valued at $300,000.
The organization wanted to address the stability problem it had had with previous crowns that would fall off the heads of the pageant winners and created maintenance problems. The DIC crown was made so that it would stay safely on the winner’s head.
Although it is the smallest crown in terms of physical size, the Mouawad crown, nicknamed the Power of Unity Crown, is largest in terms of diamond carat weight, with just the center stone weighing 62.83 carats.
The Mouawad crown is made with 18-karat gold and hand-set with 1,725 white diamonds and 3 golden canary diamonds. The gems are set in intricate patterns of petals, leaves, and vines, representing communities across the seven continents whose bonds unite them in the same purpose of empowering one another.