Tiara Time: the Queen is Money!

film kirsten dunst adjusts her chaplet of roses marie antoinette movie

Well, good Monday to you all. If you feel that you just aren’t your best on Mondays, welcome to the club. Today, just like any other Monday, I have that familiar hazy feeling in my head and I’ve forgotten my password since last Thursday. Ugh. (This is the part in the blog where you feel free to share your dumb Monday escapades as well.) HOWEVER, unlike all other Mondays, I received a text at 9:27 informing me that I have a new niece! [name pending.] That means I now have seven sobrinas but only one of them is a Franco with my DNA! (Yes, your blog hostess is quite jazzed…feeling dumb as a stump but jazzed.)

Okay. I did promise to stay on subject. Who remembers the catalyst for Attack of the Brooches theme week? Yeah, none of you. Well, in that same drawer of forgotten stuff at my parents’ house where I dug up that People magazine about the royals (and the Queen’s brooch collection) there was this anonymous white bag containing…hello!

Cayman Islands One Dollar Bill with QE2 in the Queen Alexandra KokoshnikMoney left over from a family trip when we stopped in Grand Cayman in 1987 or so. (It must have been around then; I was still in grammar school.) I thiCayman Currency Queen in Alexandra Kokoshniknk it’s neat to check out which royal headgear the queen sports on each commonwealth’s currency. If you’ve got so many tiaras, why not mix it up, right? As we can tell, for the one dollar bill, she was rocking the Queen Alexandra Kokoshnik. (I did give it a thought as to whether it could be one of the fringes but I’m going Q.A.Ko.) I also dig the angelfish and the sweet coral formation they’ve got going on the dorsal side of the bill.

Tiaraically speaking, (yes, We’ve just made tiara an adverb, deal with it! Poetic license: you receive it when your diploma’s caligraphy reads “Creative Writing.”) What really intrigues is a closer look at the coins. Her Majesty clearly changed tiaras in between 1982 and 1987 striking of the coins.

Cayman 1982 (Oriental Circlet Tiara) vs 1987 (King George IV Diadem) 50 cent piece(Oh yeah, I also learned that photographing money is no easy task.) It’s obvious that Queen Elizabeth is wearing the King George IV diadem in 1987 (right). Initially I pegged the 1982 tiara to be the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara or then I thought it might be the Oriental Circlet. Why the change? (Pun intended? Maybe…)

Well, I doubt the Cayman Mint decided to cater to tiara-specific blogs and its goofy hostess. (Honestly, who blogs about this stuff?) Show off more tiaras? Then why not just have her in a different one on each coin? why change the headgear on EVERY coin? What you see here are the 50 cent piece [large] 10 cent [left] and 5 cent [right]. (And I have to ask, what king of an “age of information” do we live in where you can’t even get the “cent sign” anymore? You know, the c with the line through it? What are we, savages? Yeesh!)

While I sat and tried to figure out the answer to this, I amused myself with the true whimsey of the Cayman money: its “Enchantment Under the Sea” theme. It’s clearly everywhere.

cayman money and its nautical themesMy favorites are the langostine on the 5 and the sea turtle on the 10. The fish swimming toward the sunken treasure on the bottom corner of the dollar bill aren’t bad either. (I’m a Pisces, I love this stuff.) What else to do while pondering this silly tiara switch? crayon cayman coin rubbing Play with crayons, of course! When was the last time I got to use these?

Then it hit me, the real reason the Caymans must have switched crowns was for this specific purpose. So it would show up better in kindergarten art projects, duh! (My husband watched this process like it was time to call them men in white coats with the big net.) Check it out. The queen in the “Girls” tiara is wily one and just as difficult to capture in Crayola as she is on camera. The George IV Diadem is quite the opposite. Compare top (1987 diadem) to bottom (1982 tiara).

diadem vs tiara on the cayman coinI had no idea that Crayola had such clout in the 1980s world economy! I did warn you that this was a silly post, didn’t I? Well, if I didn’t, now you know. Of course, the best part about the currency is the watermark, if you weren’t singing the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid already, you will be now. I now recall that the sea turtle is the Cayman’s national mascot and turtle soup is their national dish. (I’m not kidding!)

cayman islands bill tortoise watermark

Whoops, I forgot to take a picture of it! I had to find the dollar bill…and quickly! I’m running out of daylight here! Husband watches bemused, blog hostess feels like a dumb stoner. Lordy. This is not unlike how I take out my contacts then look for my glasses. (This happens 3 to 5 times a week.) Just when I can’t feel any stupider…Otto takes the Money

Well, no wonder. Otto parked himself on it. Yeah, he’s the same one who went AWOL on me the other week. Yes, I’m aware he’s kinda, well, let’s call him rubinesque. His cat food honestly says “for obese cats.” Awww, poor fatty.

Obviously from the picture above, I got shot of the watermark just before the sunset. Now there was only one thing left to do! Make a collage of the collage of coin rubbings!

collage of collage

God, I’m a dork. In case you think think this was just an excuse to play with crayons, I don’t need an excuse…nyyahhh! Kidding. It’s an obvious set up to talk about the aforementioned tiaras in the coming week.

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About ♔ la dauphiine ♔

Connecticut-based jewelry monger, history buff, Mets fan. On the hum-drum side, call me a lauded poet, novelist and ghost-writer. (That's right, I haunt prose.)
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it's not just a love-affair with my own voice

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