A distinctive headpiece worn by kings, queens or other distinguished people such as victors.  At His trial Jesus was given a crown of thorns, a mocking symbol of His alleged royalty (Mk 15:17,18). 

The NT mentions heavenly crowns that are awarded to believers as symbols of honour and special recognition for excellence and effort. Paul tells the Corinthians to strive for the imperishable crown that will last forever, and even calls his converts his crown of rejoicing (1Cor 9:25-27; 1 Thes 2:19; Phil 4:1). Some scholars consider the context of the imperishable crown relates to the everlasting quality of the heavenly crowns (in contrast to the earthly rewards), and the crown of rejoicing to the multitudes of believers Paul won for the Lord.

However, all Christians upon entry into heaven will receive a crown of righteousness but until then we are to ensure we don’t lose or forfeit what is reserved for us (2 Tim 4:8; Rev 3:11).  Those who withstand the trials receive a crown of life – a special reward for faithful endurance, even to the point of giving their lives as martyrs (Jas 1:12; Rev 2:10).  A crown of glory will be given those who have served God and humanity faithfully (1 Pet 5:4).

See also: reward.