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The Best Royal Jewels of 2019: #5 (Queen Victoria's Tiara on Display)

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for The Victoria and Albert Museum

Halfway through our countdown of the best royal jewels of the year, we've arrived in a particularly sparkly corner of London...

#5: Queen Victoria's Tiara on Display



The Victoria and Albert Museum

Prince Albert designed this petite sapphire and diamond coronet, which was constructed by Joseph Kitching, for Queen Victoria in 1842. 


Wikimedia Commons

Victoria posed for portraits in the tiny tiara; it was also one of the few pieces of jewelry set with colored stones that she continued to wear after Albert's death. The coronet was later given by King George V to his only daughter, Princess Mary. Her descendants kept the piece for decades, but in 2016, we learned that the tiara was being sold by an anonymous new owner to an unnamed foreign buyer.


Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for The Victoria and Albert Museum

The government stepped in to prevent the coronet from leaving the country, and it was ultimately purchased by William Bollinger, who gifted it to the Victoria and Albert Museum. We learned about the acquisition in 2017, and the museum's jewelry gallery was subsequently redesigned ahead of the tiara's display.


Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for The Victoria and Albert Museum

This year, the gallery officially reopened, with Queen Victoria's coronet as one of the highlights of the display -- just in time for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Victoria and Albert. I know many readers have already managed to make a visit to this important royal jewel!