The Mikimoto Crown: What is it and why is it so iconic?

Updated on Dec. 17, 2018, 1:45 p.m.

Amid the congratulatory messages for Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, beauty pageant fans also noticed one important detail: the crown.

Why are people making a big deal over a crown? If you noticed, they didn’t use the Diamonds International Corporation-made diamond and blue crystal crown worn by Miss Universe 2014 to 2016. Demi-Leigh was given the iconic Mikimoto crown when she won.

Japanese jeweler Mikimoto is known for their pearl creations. The crown was first unveiled in 2002 as a commemorative piece for Miss Universe’s 50th anniversary and it was used for five years. It’s made with yellow and white gold, has a seven-feather design inspired by the Fenghuang phoenix, and its estimated value is $250,000. It was first worn by Miss Universe 2002 Oxana Fedorova of Russia.

The last time a beauty queen was crowned with it was when Riyo Mori of Japan won in 2007. Pia Wurtzbach was also spotted wearing the crown for her final photo shoot as Miss Universe 2015.

In an interview with Azteca América, Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart hinted that they might bring back the Mikimoto crown this year. But the reason for the switch may be because IMG, the parent company of Miss Universe, sued DIC last May for missing two required payments.

A year after Demi-Leigh won, she passed the crown to Catriona Gray of the Philippines. The phoenix feathers go really well with her Mayon volcano-inspired red gown.

It’s safe to say that this crown is going to be around for years to come.


Photo courtesy of via AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

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