Friday, July 25, 2014

Luxarazzi 101: Citrine or Topaz and Pearl Tiara

Photos: Raymond Reuter / Point de Vue / Getty Images
The title of today's post already hints at certain uncertainties when it comes to this tiara which we are thus going to call the Citrine or Topaz and Pearl Tiara. There are a pair of earrings, a necklace that can be worn with a varying number of pendants, as well as a bracelet to go with the tiara making it a parure.

While citrine is a variety of quartz whose colour ranges from a pale yellow to brown, topaz is a colourless and transparent stone usually tinted by impurities and thus available in an array of different colours. Whether a stone is a citrine or a topaz is notoriously hard to tell apart simply by looking at pictures as they largely only differ in hardness. Natural citrines, which mostly originate from Brazil, are rare but were pretty popular during the Art Deco period. Topazes, in general, would be a bit easier to come by and both pink and light blue topazes have been used in a number of royal and noble tiaras.

As it isn't commonly known where the Grand Ducal Family's [insert kind of yellow stone] and pearl tiara originally comes from, it is a bit hard to tell what the stone used might me. If I should make a guess, I would probably say it's topaz but simply because I think it would be easier to come by a larger number of equal yellow topazes and because the tiara doesn't look like Art Deco to me per se. However, I'm no expert and so it could just as easily be citrines.
Photos: Corbis / Place Royale / Getty Images / Cour grand-ducale
To the best of our combined knowledges plus a friendly helper, the parure was firstly worn by Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte during a state visit to Italy in January 1980. Though the tiara certainly wasn't her favourite (read: most worn) of all pieces, she did sport it on a number of occasions following that. The tiara was also worn by then-Hereditary Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa during the early 1980's.

It wasn't seen after these outings for quite a while and only resurfaced when it was worn by Princess Margaretha during her parents 1999 state visit to Belgium. It vanished once again until Princess Alexandra got it out of the vault for National Day in 2011. Since then, it has been both worn by the Grand Duchess during a state visit to Germany in 2012 and by Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie during Princess Madeleine's wedding in 2013. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also sported parts of the parure for the wedding dinner of Archduke Christoph and Archduchess Adélaïde in December 2012.


  1. I'm glad these pieces are having a bit of a renaissance right now. The topazes/citrines make it very unique, and the structure and look of the tiara make it suitable for both the younger and older members of the grand ducal family. The only problem with the piece in my opinion is that it is often tough to see in photographs as it gets sort of lost on anyone with lighter hair.

    I will say that the earrings of the parure look really, really heavy. It looks as though many of the wearers opt for something smaller. I hope we'll find out more about the origins of the parure and how they came to the grand ducal family.

  2. I wonder how heavy the stones actually are, they seem heavy and every time I look at the earrings, my earlops hurt. In my opinion, the tiara is best worn by Maria Teresa when she was young (that hairdo in the official portrait is perfect for the tiara), Alexandra and Margaretha so I concur with what you say about it getting lost on people with lighter hair.

  3. Where is Prince Sebastien?

  4. In all the advance notices by the grand ducal court, it was mentioned that he would be among the guests. However, he wasn't present on the actual day so I guess he got sick or something along those lines.

  5. Does anyone know where is Claire's dress from?

  6. Yes, her dress is by Paule Ka. For more fashion identifications, have a look at our Facebook page: