By Ginger Conejero, ABS-CBN News
MIAMI, Fla. – It’s just a couple days away from the coronation night of Miss Universe 2015 and the anticipation to see who will take home that coveted crown is definitely palpable among the candidates.
Speaking of that coveted crown, it’s a special year to win the title because there is a new crown at stake which was unveiled for the first time earlier this morning out here in Miami.
All 88 candidates of this year’s competition along with Miss Universe Organization President Paul Shugart were present for the unveiling.
They were joined by executives of DIC, the company out of the Czech Republic that’s responsible to creating the beautiful crown. It’s valued at $300,000 and you’ll see why when you notice there are five large, light blue topaz stones that immediately catch your attention.
These are meant to represent strength and loyalty. Symbolizing faith and wisdom are another 198 dark blue sapphires that decorate the crown.
There are 33 natural, translucent and colorless bohemian crystals.
These are believed to be inspired by the New York City skyline, an ode to the new home of the next Miss Universe.
There are also more than 300 small diamonds that are encrusted on the crown. And that’s 18 karat white gold that holds all those precious stones together.
As you can imagine, the ladies were all too excited to see the crown up close, many of them taking pictures with the crown.
The Philippines’ bet, MJ Lastimosa, gamely posed for photos with her hands in a prayer position, channeling the crown to be hers come Sunday.
Lastimosa urges her kababayans to pray for her continued success in the competition and to not focus so much on petty discussions. This comes off the heels of criticism for the gowns she wore during the preliminary competition on Wednesday. Many have taken to social media to express their disagreement with Binibining Pilipinas’ choice for a Colombian designer to create MJ’s national costume.
There’s not much left as far as activities are concerned. After the preliminary competition, the candidates are able to relax just a bit with a fun makeup and hair event tomorrow and last minute rehearsals. Then everything goes into high gear on Sunday as 88 of the most beautiful ladies battle it out for that $300,000 crown.
Chaka kaya ng crown.