The Miss Universe Crown, Through the Years
Crown # 1: The First Miss Universe Crown or The Armi Kuusela Crown The very first Miss Universe crown (modeled by the very first Miss Universe Finland’s Armi Kuusela) was the priceless Romanoff crown that once belonged to the Russian czar and contained 1,529 flawless diamonds with a combined weight of 300 karats. At the time it was insured for half-a-million dollars.
Crown # 2: The Christiane Martel Crown
In 1953 at the 2nd annual pageant in Long Beach, California, the Miss Universe crown had been changed for the very first time. The organization opted for a much bigger crown than last years’ crown of Miss Universe 1952. First and only worn by Miss Universe 1953 Christiane Martel of France, the crown was made from metalic bronze. The design was very simple, but unique in its own way – perfect for the most beautiful woman in the universe.
Crown # 3: The Star of the Universe
Why the Star of the Universe? Because it has an actual “Star” for its centrepiece, this was given to the winners from the year 1954 – 1960. The first official Miss USA and Miss Universe crown which was first worn by winners in 1954 were reportedly valued at $500,000. They consisted of approximately 1,000 Oriental cultured and black pearls set in solid gold and platinum frame and weight 1.25 pounds. The winner only wore the crowns three times during their reign — their coronation, their successor’s coronation and one other unspecified time. When the crown was worn, the titleholder was shadowed by a bodyguard. Needless to say, the titleholders were not allowed to keep their crowns.
Crown # 4: The 1961-1962 Crown
In 1961 during the 10th Anniversary of the Miss Universe Pageant, the organization decided to change the crown. First worn by Miss Universe 1961 Marlene Schmidt of Germany, this is the first rhinestone crown of the Miss Universe Pageant. Only two titleholders had a chance to wear this exquisite crown, Marlene Schmidt of Germany, Miss Universe 1961 and Norma Nolan, Miss Universe 1962 of Argentina.
Crown # 5: The Infamous, “MISS” Crown, “THE LADY” or “THE QUEEN” Crown
Perhaps the most famous and most recognizable crown of the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant was the “MISS” crown. Its centerpiece is a crowned lady, holding a scepter. First Design The original design of the Miss Universe crown came in 1963. The rhinestone crown was designed with the symbol of the Miss Universe Organization on top (a woman stands holding a scepter) which has become a part of the Miss Universe legend. The rest of the crown resembled the previous one. The crown was used until 1969 and had never been given to the winner. In 1970 the organization designed a new crown with a slightly different design (with still, logo of Miss Universe Organization in the center but the crown had extended wings) that was very similar to the previous one. It was Ieda Maria Vargas, Miss Universe 1963 of Brazil who had the honor of being the first Miss Universe to wear this crown. Modern Design The modern design, this classic Miss Universe crown was designed and made by one of America’s most renowned jewelry maker “Sarah Coventry”. The design has become the symbol of mark and beauty of Miss Universe for almost 30 years. The crown is adjustable and was actually given to the winner and 28 Miss Universe titleholders from 1974-2001 have worn them. Miss Universe 1974 Amparo Munoz of Spain was the first titleholder to wear this crown. Later in the late 1980’s, the crowns were made by International Gem and Jewelry Show, Inc. This exquisite and exotic design, plus the beauty of the rhinestones have become a much-beloved item among pageant fanatic around the world. Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quinones of Puerto Rico was the last winner who received this crown.
Crown # 6: The Mikimoto, Miss Universe Crown and Tiara
The Miss Universe crown used from 2002–2007 was designed by Mikimoto, the official jewellery sponsor of the Miss Universe Organization, and depicted the phoenix rising, signifying status, power and beauty. The crown has 500 diamonds of almost 30 carats (6.0 g), 120 South Sea and Akoya pearls, ranging in size from 3 to 18 mm diameter and is valued at $250,000. The Crown was designed specifically for the pageant on Mikimoto Pearl Island in Japan with the Mikimoto crown and tiara being first used for Miss Universe 2002. The crown has an accompaniment of a tiara which will be given to the winner after her reign.
Crown # 7: The Dayana Mendoza Crown or “The Vietnamese Miss Universe Crown”
For Miss Universe 2008 a new crown was unveiled. The 18k white and yellow gold crown was designed by CAO Fine Jewelry specifically for the event. With over 1,000 precious stones, including 44 carats (8.8 g) of diamonds, the crown has a value of $120,000 (USD). The design of the crown is highly symbolic. Vietnam is symbolized in the yellow gold, representative of the country’s healthy economy, and in the crane, with represents the spirit and culture of Vietnam. Other colors stand for inspiration and feeling, while the depicted heart is meant to reflect faith, hope and unity. The curving patterns of the stones are a tribute to every country, reflecting growth. The crown will only be awarded as part of the contest in 2008.
Crown # 8: The Diamond Nexus Lab Crown, or as it is simply called the “Peace Crown”
L-R: The “Peace” crown. Miss Universe 2009, Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela, wears for the first time the newly designed Peace Crown at the 2009 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant held in the Bahamas. Miss Universe 2011, Leila Lopes of Angola is the current crownholder
In 2009, Diamond Nexus Labs made Miss Universe crown. The crown is set with 1,371 gemstones, weighing a total of 416.09 carats (83.22 g). It contains 544.31 grams of 14k and 18k white gold as well as platinum. But before the actual “Peace Crown” was conceived, the Miss Universe Organization, with its official jeweller, Diamond Nexus Lab, had its online voting system in 2009 for Miss Universe fans all over the globe. They were given three options which were: The “Unity” Crown, The “Hope” Crown and the “Peace” crown.