The Diamond Tiara of Queen Geraldine of Albania

© Sotheby’s

Today’s diamond tiara was designed by Marianne Ostier for Oesterreicher (later Ostier, Inc. of New York) for the marriage of Queen Geraldine and King Zog I of Albania in 1938. The tiara depicts the Albanian royal crest of the Ram of Skanderberg. Though the Albanian monarchy is not very old, nor did it last long, the ram is an ancient Albanian symbol dating back centuries.

Per Sotheby’s lot details, the ram sits “atop a graduated floral vine, set with old European and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 28.05 carats, accented by baguette diamonds weighing approximately 4.80 carats.”

© Sotheby’s. Queen Geraldine of Albania (1915 – 2002).

The Albanian monarchy ended in 1939 and Queen Geraldine’s tiara was sold. In 1966, the tiara made its way into the possession of Mamdouha and Elmer Holmes Bobst. After their deaths, it went on the auction block once more, selling in 2016 for $225,000, far exceeding its initial estimate. Though the winner of the auction was a private individual, I’d love to know what they did with the tiara. Did they take it apart for the diamonds (I hope not)? Did they buy it as decorative art? Or did they purchase it to wear to tiara events? The ram makes it such a distinctive piece, that if it is worn in public again we’d all notice. Otherwise, we may never know of its fate. Unless it hits the auction block again.

Sources

Sotheby’s