When Pia Wurtzbach was named Miss Universe in 2015, she was the second titleholder to wear that particular crown, after Colombia’s Paulina Vega in 2014. And on January 30, Iris Mittenaere had the honor of wearing it.
This crown is actually the tenth in the history of Miss Universe. Here’s a quick guide to the now-familiar sapphire-encrusted crown and the nine that came before it:
The Armi Kussela Crown, 1952
Miss Universe Finland Armi Kussela became the first-ever winner of the pageant, and she was crowned with this Romanov style that once belonged to the Russian czar. It contains over 1,500 diamonds, has a total weight of 300 karats, and was previously insured for $500,000.
The Christiane Martel Crown, 1953
The following year, the organization opted to use a simple yet sophisticated bronze crown. Christiane Martel of France was the only beauty queen to wear it.
The Star of the Universe, 1954-1960
1,000 black pearls make up most of the weight of this 1.25-pound crown, though it’s that prominent star on top that gave it its name.
The 10th Anniversary Crown, 1961-1962
Multiple rhinestones decorate the crown worn by titleholders Marlene Schmidt of Germany and Norma Nolan of Argentina.
The Miss Crown, 1963-1969
One of the most recognizable crowns in the history of Miss Universe, this one features the symbol of the organization, a woman holding a scepter. Gloria Diaz was the last woman to wear this version of the Miss crown.
The New Miss Crown, 1970-2001
In 1970, slights tweaks to the shape were made, although the crown still featured the logo of the Miss Universe organization. Renowned American jeweler Sarah Coventry then created the new design for the 1974 crown before the International Gem and Jewelry Show took over in the late '80s. This version was given to winners until 2001. Margarita Moran wore this design in 1973.
The Mikimoto Crown, 2002-2007
Crafted by luxury pearl company Mikimoto, this crown resembles the rising phoenix. Said to be worth $250,000, it has 300 diamonds, and 120 South Sea and Akoya pearls of varying sizes. First unveiled at the 2002 pageant held at the Mikimoto Pearl Island in Japan, it was last worn by Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori of Japan.
The Vietnamese Miss Universe Crown, 2008
In 2008, Vietnam hosted the competition and had a special crown made for the winner (who turned out to be Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela). It is crafted in yellow gold and bears an image of a crane, two elements which symbolize Vietnam’s prosperity and culture, respectively.
The Peace Crown, 2009-2013
The winner of an online voting conducted by Miss Universe and the Diamond Nexus Lab, the Peace crown was one of three contenders, which also included the Unity and Hope crowns. Aside from the usual diamonds, it also contains synthetic rubies to represent the pageant’s advocacy—to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS.
The Diamonds International Corporation Crown, 2014-2016
Filipinos won’t have any trouble recognizing this design—it’s the familiar blue crown that perfectly matched Pia Wurtzbach’s Miss Universe gown. According to CNN Philippines, it’s valued at $300,000, and features five large topaz stones, 198 sapphires, and 33 translucent Bohemian crystals. We’re excited to see which beauty queen will wear it next!
The Mikimoto Crown, 2017-
This crown, last worn by Miss Japan's Riyo Mori in 2007, is now in the possession of Miss Universe 2017 titleholder Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. The last beauty queen who wore it, however, was Pia Wurtzbach, who was given the chance to try it for her last official photo shoot for Miss Universe in January 2017.
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