Diamonds – the Earth’s treasure

By Amy Brenan, director of Heirlooms Jewellers, 21 South Street, Wareham

THE diamond is one of the most spectacular gemstones, and they have been forming ever since Earth began.
It is the birthstone for April and is said to represent love, purity and commitment, which is why it is so frequently used in engagement and eternity rings.

The largest ever diamond, called the Cullinan diamond, was discovered in 1905 in South Africa.

It was a whopping 3,106 carats and was given to King Edward VII who commissioned diamond experts, Royal Asscher in Amsterdam, to cut the huge stone into nine large diamonds and 100 smaller ones.

The three largest stones form part of the Crown Jewels and are available to view in the Tower of London.

Another famous diamond is the Krupp diamond, probably better known as the Elizabeth Taylor diamond.

This incredible stone, 33.19 carats, was bought by Richard Burton in 1968 at a cost of $307,000.

After Taylor’s death, it was sold at auction in 2011 for $8,818,500. It was said to be her favourite ring – and no wonder!

The Krupp diamond was also cut by Royal Ascher, whose Ascher cut design is recognisable by the cropped corners typically at a 45° angle, giving them an angular shape with a unique design of 74 facets.

This allows for light to be absorbed, giving the brilliant sparkle and rainbow effect.

Other spectacular cuts from Ascher include Oval, Brilliant, Cushion and Pear.

As you would expect, diamonds are the most expensive gemstone because of the process involved in bringing them to market – diamond mining is phenomenally expensive.

Because of this, the diamond is one of the Earth’s true wonders and whatever jewellery design it is featured in deserves to be treasured.

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