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What are Tiaras?

Updated May 21, 2024
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Whenever you want to feel like a princess, reach for a tiara. Tiaras, also known as diadems, have been around for centuries, and they have recently resurfaced as popular hair jewelry. Tiaras are much like the crowns worn by royalty; they fully or partially encircle the head, and most are encrusted with sparkling rhinestones or crystals, pearls, semi-precious stones or precious gems.

Many tiara bases are fashioned of wire made from metals ranging from the most common such as pot metal to fine metals such as platinum and gold. The wire is artistically arranged to show off both the design of the tiara and the stones to their best advantage. Many tiaras are raised at the center and taper off at the sides. In less expensive tiaras the stones are glued into place, but costly tiaras set gems in prongs so there is less likelihood of losing a stone.

Women wear tiaras for many special occasions. Tiaras are appropriate and fashionable for balls, proms, weddings, beauty pageants, and coming out parties. Today's tiaras are easier to wear than the tiaras of days gone by because they are now constructed of the newer, lighter materials, and they are available in a wide range of prices.

The history of tiaras is somewhat cloudy, but most jewelry historians credit the Egyptians for creating the first tiaras. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) had an influence on tiaras in more recent times; his love for announcing he and his family's affluence and nobility made the tiara a required accessory at all social functions during his reign. The tiara was at its heyday between the early 1800s and the beginning of World War I (1917-1920).

While the popularity of tiaras waned during the mid-20th century, they remained in demand in certain circles. For example, brides continued to wear tiaras through the years as a crowning glory. Many choose to wear a tiara beneath the wedding veil; they can revel in its beauty during the ceremony and relish the keepsake for the rest of their lives. Whether getting married, or planning to attend your senior prom, tiaras always have, and always will, make any woman feel like a princess for a day.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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