I have a few rhinestone tiaras in my rhinestone/costume jewelry
collection, and some day hope to make a tiara, too.
For inspiration, I refer you to this website on the Iranian crown
jewels. All of the pieces are pretty fantastic, but there are
several tiaras/crowns designed by Harry Winston in the 50’s for the
last Shah. These are apparently still on display at a bank in
Tehran. These tiaras were made from "loose just lying
around in the treasury.
Another amazing tiara/crown is at the Smithsonian. Napoleon
presented it to the Empress when their son was born, I believe. The
original emeralds have been replaced by Persian turquoise.
The Smithsonian Hall of Gems and Minerals is one of my favorite
places in the universe. I grew up in DC, and we went to see the
newly donated Hope Diamond in the late 50’s. Maybe this was the
start of my interest in gemology and minerology.
Any recommendations about other collections of gems and minerals
around the country, that some of you love? I’ve heard there’s a
lapidary museum in Chicago and that the New York Museum of Natural
History has a collection, but I haven’t seen either of these.