HomeNews1958’s Miss America Is Auctioning Off Her Crown: Here’s Why

1958’s Miss America Is Auctioning Off Her Crown: Here’s Why

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)

Let’s be honest. You’re not going to be Miss America. There’s nothing wrong with that. Most of us are ugly. But that doesn’t mean you can’t wear the crown. That’s because a former Miss America is putting her tiara up for auction.

Marilyn Van Derbur won the title in 1958, and she considers it her most prized possession. But she said she felt compelled to part with it to help out struggling teachers.

“Because of the unexpected expenses needed for COVID protections, too many teachers are buying supplies with their own money,” reads a message from Van Derbur on the auction site. “The funds raised will go directly to teachers in Colorado.”

This is the first time a former Miss America has sold her crown, PEOPLE said. The bidding starts at $20,000.

“It’s one of my most prized possessions,” Van Derbur told The Washington Post. “Anyone who knows a Miss America knows that a crown is the most special thing that she would personally own.”

Swarovski crystal ornament the crown. Finding something to wear with a crown might scare off some potential buyers. But Van Derbur has the perfect accessory to go with the headgear. She’s including a bracelet she won in the auction. It matches the crown, and it is the only Miss American bracelet in existence, according to the auction house.

David Talarico, who owns Schoppy’s jeweler in New Jersey, believes the set could be worth $40,000, the Washington Post said.

After winning Miss America in 1958, Marilyn Van Derbur became a motivational speaker and award-winning writer.

Soldier To Miss Rotation in Iraq for Miss America Pageant

Spc. Maura Spence joined the Army because she wanted to represent her country, but instead of fatigues, she’ll don evening wear. She was to ship out with her unit to Iraq earlier this year, but her commanding officers told her she needed to stay stateside, she told Fox News. They wanted her to compete for Miss American in December. She won Miss Colorado in June.

She made soldiers’ mental health a priority while competing for the crown.

“We need to really address mental health now, and show the new generations of soldiers that are coming through that mental health care is something we don’t make a big deal about and that we don’t think of it as being scary,” she said. “It’s just a thing we take care of.”

Patriotism aside, Spence said her sister was a big fan of the Miss America pageant. Sadly, her sister died in 2015 before she could see all that Spence has accomplished.

“I made her a promise at her funeral — ‘One day, I’m going to take you to Miss America with me,’” Spence said. “Now that I’ve won Miss Colorado and am heading to Miss America, I feel like I’m fulfilling that promise to her.”