08 October 2016
The Savoy Tourmaline Tiara
The stones in this piece are often misidentified as pink topazes rather than tourmalines, but Stefano Papi and Gabriella of Savoy (daughter of Italy's last king) cleared up the confusion in their book collaboration, Jewels of the House of Savoy. But the gem-studded history of the suite is even more complicated, because the pieces of the parure were originally set with garnets instead.
Margherita married King Umberto I of Italy, and it has remained with their descendants to this day. Prince Vittorio Emanuele, one of the current pretenders to the Italian throne, now owns the piece, and his wife, the water-skiing Princess Marina, dons it occasionally. In 2004, she wore the tiara (tilted back like a headband) at the pre-wedding gala for Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.