What is the difference between Tiara and Diadema

Tiara and diademes are ornamental hats worn by royalty and nobility to indicate their power and authority. Wearing tiaras or tiaras is a custom that dates back thousands of years ago, one of the first known tiaras was worn in 3000 BC. (in Italy one of the oldest, belonging to the Bronze Age (XVII century BC)

Although the terms tiara and diadem are often used interchangeably, there are differences between these two items, although they are very small.

In common language in the world of marriages, on the other hand, this difference has become more pronounced.

Let’s look at the difference between a tiara and a diadema.

What is a Tiara?

A tiara is a sophisticated headpiece, which unlike the crown is worn only by women, commonly by brides during their weddings or during galas or extremely elegant or eccentric events.

A tiara has a semicircular shape and does not surround the entire head (it does not make the complete circle). There is no strict design for a tiara, apart from the fact that it has a semicircle base and the focus is on the front of the jewel.

Born as an ancient Persian headgear, traditionally, the tiaras contained colorful and elaborate precious stones, but since the last century, the style of the tiara has become more tenuous in color, with diamonds and pearls as selected precious stones and an emphasis on elaborate design.

Unlike a crown, wearing a tiara does not automatically mean being a queen.

In fact nowadays, while crowns are still often reserved for royals or eccentric celebrities, tiaras are commonly worn by brides in the days of their marriage, winners of beauty contests and by girls for various events.

This is an example of bridal tiaras

Another type of tiara, this time a silver one

Floral tiara with white mother-of-pearl flowers and silver flowers
Floral tiara with white mother-of-pearl flowers and silver flowers 02

What is a Diadem?

To understand what a diadema is, we must return briefly to its origins.

The word diadema has Greek and Latin origins and had the meaning of “object that surrounds” (implied “the head”).
Basically, the word diadem was used to describe any circular piece worn on the head to symbolize status and power. Power also in the generic sense.

In fact the first diadems were basically ribbons tied around the head to represent royalty. But they were also worn by triumphant athletes to represent their status as champions. Over time, the diadems were transformed into elaborate headdresses made of precious metal and jewelery.

In this context, crowns, tiaras and circles are all sub-categories of the generic term diadema.

Diadems can be completely circular (like a crown) or a semicircle (like a tiara). There are no precise rules on how a diadem should be. In principle it can be said that a diadem is an ornamental headdress worn to show a status, be it of power, merit, authority or wealth.

An interesting point to note is that very few real headdresses are called diadems. While there is an abundance of tiaras and crowns, there are only very few jewels labeled “diadems”. Probably the most famous is the “George IV State Diadem”, which was commissioned by King Giorgio in 1820.

The diadem in wedding

In the world of brides and weddings, the diadem is generally an accessory that touches the hairline and falls on the forehead, generally it always has something that draws attention to the forehead or the front of the jewel, for example a pearl or a central gemstone.

But not always, here below we see a special diadem that attracts “central” attention with three flowers and crystals.

Recap: Tiara vs Diadem

Both are headpieces worn on special occasions.

A point to note is that while all tiaras are technically diadems, not all diadems are tiaras.

The tiaras have specific characteristics, of which the most distinctive is that they have a semicircle shape and have an “upward” decoration.

Diadems do not have a predetermined shape, we mean something that has a central point can be completely circular like crowns.

The word tiara is more commonly used, while “diadema” is much rarer, and is more reminiscent of something exotic and fascinating.

I’m Elisabetta Sebastio, I specialize in creating bespoke hair accessories.

if you want to know more and want to take a look click here: Bridal hair accessories

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