Gold for August: Queen Sonja's modern tiara

Queen Sonja of Norway in her golden tiara during a State Visit to Poland in 2012

August is a chance to look at some of the gems that don't fit the calendar of jewels and golden pieces are right at the top of this sparkling list. Given that it's been associated with royalty for centuries. gold plays little part in the tiara collection of many royal houses but the ruling houses in Scandinavia are changing all that right now. Queen Sonja was a bit of a trailblazer in that regard - meet her golden tiara, you won't forget it in a hurry.

This very modern and very unusual piece was a present to Sonja from her husband when she turned 60 in 1997. It came with a necklace and earrings and quickly became one of her favourite pieces.

It's made of gold which has been flattened into sleek strips and turned into a tiara. Between those slats of gold are tiny diamonds to add some sparkle. It's got the air of a kokoshnik tiara about it, a shape not found elsewhere in the Norwegian collection, but while other versions of that design mostly use precious stones to make the frame of the diadem, this is pure gold.

In the middle is space for a stunner of a sparkler and Sonja has really made the most of this gem opportunity by mixing it up and keeping it fresh. We've seen different shapes of orange topaz artfully arranged in the middle gap to make this piece even more modern (as if that were possible). Sonja has also added a row of small, round diamonds to the centre but perhaps its most distinctive appearance has been with a large green tourmaline at the heart of the headpiece.

The square cut tourmaline also underlines one of the big issues with this tiara - its tendency to look just a little bit space age. Its shape is so modern and the gold so dominant that its hard not to look at this and think of the final frontier. But Sonja has definitely got the style to make this one work and while it might not be a look that would carry too well, it suits her and then some.

All in all, this is a modern and very personal take on the tradition of the tiara and one that has made Sonja's mark on the jewellery collection she now commands as Queen of Norway. And it gives us a perfect tiara to add to the mix with its gold for August.