The Jewelry Insider

April 20, 2009

When Kristen Dalton became the 58th winner of the Miss USA pageant last night, the North Carolina beauty got to wear a history-making gemstone crown that would make any contestant green with envy.

As part of their “Green Is Universal” initiative, pageant co-owners NBC Universal partnered with jewelry sponsor, Diamond Nexus Labs, to design the first eco-friendly gemstone crown for both the Miss USA pageant and the upcoming Miss Universe event. “We are very excited to have partnered with the earth-conscious Diamond Nexus Labs to create this year’s crowns. Their initiative coincides with the pageant’s core values of being savvy, aware and socially mindful,” said Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization.

Valued at $202,000, the Miss USA crown features 1,936 flawless lab-created gemstones for a total of 166.82 carats set in 325 grams of gold and platinum. Fifty-one of these jewels adorn the oval centerpiece to celebrate each of the 51 women competing to become Miss USA 2009. Four full-time designers and their team spent more than 1,800 hours to bring the crown to life. All of the gems were lab made, using an environmentally friendly process with no toxic byproducts or pollutants. Aside from the glittering green crown, the Miss USA title also comes with a year’s use of a New York apartment, a public relations team, a two-year scholarship at the New York Film Academy and an undisclosed salary. If you want to shine like a beauty queen but don’t want to suffer through the swimsuit competition, check out’s collection of crown jewels right here. Who needs a public relations team to go green in style?

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