Riken Maharjan, Chief Executive and designer of R.B. Diamond Jewellers, describes the process of making the superbly elegant crowns of Miss Nepal 2016
When Riken Maharjan and the R.B. Diamond Jewellers team received the project for making the crown for the Hidden Treasure Fanta Miss Nepal 2016, they knew it was the most important job order for their company. It was an opportunity to showcase not only their talent and craft of their designers and craftsmen, but also to represent their country in a Miss World stage along with the crowns of hundreds of other contestants. Discussions about R.B Diamonds Jewellers becoming the crown sponsors for Miss Nepal had been ongoing for the last couple of years. The design team that is comprised of Riken Maharjan, his father, Ramesh Maharjan and his sister, Riju Maharjan, had been quietly contemplating concepts and patterns for the crown.
As the brainstorming began for the concepts and designs for the crowns, the landscape of Nepal made it easy for the designers to choose the background. It had to be the Himalayas as the basic frame of the crown. With mountains and the hills representing such a significant element in the lives of Nepalis, the top frame in the shape of a mountain not only gave justice to the Great Himalayas but also gave the crown an aesthetically strong design. Then began the more difficult part; designing the crown.
Nepal being such a diverse country in terms of geography and culture, it was very important for the designers to choose the concepts for the crown that represented all of Nepal and all of the Nepali people. They could not be biased in making a crown which would be presented in a pageant where contestants from all over Nepal participated. However, the designers were also aware that there were only a certain number of elements that could fit into the crown. The designers spent long hours discussing designs and elements that could go into the crown and then filtering those concepts to pick out the most significant.
Designs such as tourists visiting the temples of Kathmandu, the khukuri, the one-horned rhino and the Kumari were elements that were discussed but eventually left out. After designing the crown, R.B. Diamond Jewellers decided what stones and metals were to be used in the crown. Given such a prestigious project, they spared no expense on making the crown the grandest of them all. Some of the precious stones had to be imported, but the central piece, the royal blue Kyanite was mined and cut in Nepal itself. Each of the three crowns for the Miss Nepal World, Miss Nepal Earth and Miss Nepal International has a Kyanite in the center of crown. Among the over 2000 other precious and semi-precious stones that were set in the crown were diamonds, ruby, emerald and sapphire.
Once the designing part was over, R.B Diamond Jewellers prepared to turn it into reality. It was important to keep the design flexible as it was not certain that all the concepts would fit in as a large number of metals and elements were involved in making the crown. Three teams of nine craftsmen each were involved in the actual making of the crown. A structural team gave the crown the desired shape. A stone setting team placed the precious stones and diamonds on the crown. And a polishing team gave the crown its final glitter.
In the final stage of the making of the crown, R.B. Diamond Jewellers had to decide if they were to use rhodium polish or gold plating. They decided to use both. Gold plating was applied on the entire crown except for the frames of the crown which were given the rhodium treatment to resemble the snow of the mountains. After the crowning of Asmi Shrestha as the new Miss Nepal 2016, R.B. Diamond Jewellers were elated as The Hidden Treasure, the organizers of Miss Nepal, had insisted that the crown should be comfortable and easy to wear; and they had achieved that goal. Riken Maharjan describes the unusual method that was used to accomplish this feat:”We used a bucket. An expanding shape of the bucket was the closest resemblance we could think of to the shape of a human head. Therefore, we structured the crown around a bucket to give it the appropriate shape and size.”