Happy 79th Birthday to Empress Farah of Iran! One of the most stunning and glamorous royals in the 1960s and 70s, the Empress was a cultural and style icon, whose image was often aided by her magnificent collection of jewellery. However, when the Royal Family fled Iran in the midst of the 1979 Revolution, the jewels were left behind and are now on display in the Central Bank of Tehran. In honour of the last Empress in a 2,500 year empire, we are featuring the Iranian Royal Tiaras-
Empress Farah’s Crown
Made for Empress Farah by Van Cleef and Arpels for the Shah’s lavish Coronation in 1967, this Crown features diamonds, pearls, emeralds, rubies, and spinels, and was used when the Shah crowned his Empress. It is now on display at the Central Bank of Tehran.
Featuring the Noor-ol-Ain (Eye of Light) diamond, one of the largest pink diamonds in the world, it was mined at the Golconda mines in India, belonged to the Mughal Emperors, and was plundered by Nader Shah from Delhi in 1739. The Diamond was set by Harry Winston into an elaborate tiara for the Shah’s 1959 Wedding to Farah Diba. One of her favourite Tiaras, it was worn by her to many of her grandest events. The Noor-ol-Ain Tiara is on display at the National Treasury of Iran in the Central Bank in Tehran.
Empress Farah’s Seven Emerald Tiara
Another Tiara made by Harry Winston for the 1959 wedding, this piece features seven large emeralds, probably Indian in origin, and coloured diamonds. Another one of Empress Farah’s favourite Tiaras, it was worn to the majority of her foreign royal events. This is another Tiara that can now be seen at the Central Bank of Tehran.
Empress Farah’s Art Deco Diamond Tiara
This diamond tiara, featuring large art deco diamonds, was worn by Empress Farah at some of her early grand events, most notably the Jordanian State Banquet in 1960. It hasn’t been seen since the early 1960s, and might have been worked into another tiara.
Queen Soraya’s Emerald Tiara
This emerald and diamond art deco tiara was made for Queen Soraya, Empress Farah’s predecessor, and worn at her wedding in 1951 and many of her grand occasions. After her divorce in 1958, this tiara remained in the vaults and was worn by Empress Farah as a ‘smaller’ emerald alternative. The Tiara was also worn by her stepdaughter, Princess Shahnaz and Empress Farah’s wedding. It hasn’t been seen since the 1960s, and presumably belongs to the National Bank of Tehran.
Empress Farah’s Turquoise Tiara
Made for Empress Farah in the 1970s, this piece features a distinctly Persian stone- turquoise. It was worn for many official portraits in the later years and some daytime events, and now probably belongs to the State.
Queen Soraya’s Diamond Tiara
Worn by Queen Soraya in the 1950s, this tiara was also worn by Empress Farah and her sister-in-law, Princess Ashraf. It also presumably belongs to the National Bank of Tehran.
Empress Farah’s Diamond Tiara
A large diamond kokoshnik, Empress Farah wore this piece at a couple of events in the 1960s, before it disappeared from public view. It might have been reset for the 1967 Coronation but might also belong to the National Bank of Tehran.
Empress Farah’s Yellow Diamond Tiara
Worn for many of Empress Farah’s last photoshoots as Empress, this tiara features white and yellow diamonds with a distinctive ‘v’ base. It also currently belongs to the state and is housed in the National Treasury of Iran.