Queen Geraldine's Diamond Tiara
Country: Albania 🇦🇱
Designed by Marianne Ostier for Oesterreicher jewelers (later Ostier, Inc.), this diamond and platinum tiara was created for the 1938 wedding of King Zog I of Albania and Queen Geraldine. Using approximately 28.05 carats of old European and single-cut diamonds and 4.80 carats of baguette diamonds, the design features a graduated floral base topped by a stylized diamond ram's head. That's right, a ram's head. It's a goat tiara.
King Zog was Ahmed Bey Zogolli, later Ahmed Zogu, the leader of Albania from 1925 to 1939. He was president of the country before creating a throne for himself as King of the Albanians in 1928. (Though he proclaimed it to be a constitutional monarchy, his powers inched it more towards a dictatorship.) He fell in love with the half-Hungarian, half-American Countess Geraldine Apponyi de Nagy-Apponyi when he saw her in a photograph, and they were engaged just a few days after meeting.
The tiara created for Geraldine has the shape and other characteristics of jewels we refer to as tiaras, while also carrying the symbolic purpose of a crown for the new Queen consort. Crowns often include crosses or other religious symbols, but a match between a Roman Catholic bride and a Muslim king was reason enough to leave them out of this design.
The white roses on the base of the tiara tied it to Queen Geraldine, who was known as the "White Rose of Hungary". The top tied it to King Zog, as the ram's head is a heraldic symbol of the Albanian royal house. It is also a symbol associated with Skanderbeg, the fifteenth-century warrior and nobleman who fought to defend Albania and who is often referred to as Albania's national hero. King Zog claimed to be a successor to Skanderbeg, adding to the reasons to emphasize the ram's head symbol, even in a tiara. #albania #albaniatiara #albaniaqueen #albaniaroyalfamily