The allure of coloured Diamonds

Diamonds have been fascinating mankind since these precious stones were first discovered, as early as 3000 B.C. in India.  Collected, treasured and sought-after, they became symbols of power and wealth – desired more than any other gemstone.  Over the centuries, mining has yielded mostly colourless diamonds with a dizzying array of size, shape and clarity…and for these stones the less hint of colour – the more desirable and valuable the stone.

As well as colourless diamonds, nature has given us coloured diamonds, with the same qualities of hardness and refraction as their colourless cousins but in addition they are enhanced by an amazing spectrum of colour….every coloured diamond has it’s own individual hue…which is what makes them so unique and so captivating.

Recently in the news we learnt of two showstopping coloured diamonds going up for auction, both bought by the same Hong Kong based buyer!

The 12.03 carat, internally flawless Blue diamond known as ‘Blue Moon’ was bought for an eye-watering £32 million…and renamed ‘Josephine’ in honour of his 7 year-old daughter.

Blue Moon diamond

Blue Moon diamond

David Bennett, the head of Sotheby’s international jewellery division, said the “Blue Moon” sale broke several records and made the gemstone the most expensive diamond, regardless of colour, and the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction. It also fetched the highest-ever price per carat, he said.

So why the amazingly high price tag??  Coloured diamonds account for a very small percentage of natural diamonds, and those with strong colour saturation are an extremely rare occurrence.  Blue diamonds are formed when Boron is mixed with Carbon when the gem is created and only a tiny fraction of diamonds mined are found with traces of blue, let alone one with such a vivid hue.

The same buyer also bought 16.08 carat vivid-pink diamond for £19 million just the night before!  It is the largest cushion-shaped fancy vivid-pink diamond ever to come to auction…this one is now called ‘Sweet Josephine’

Sweet Josephine rare pink diamond

‘Sweet Josephine’ rare pink diamond

Josephine is one lucky 7 year-old girl!!

Further reading:  Forever Brilliant: The Aurora Collection of Colored Diamonds by Alan Bronstein

forever brilliant image

xx

 

 

Advertisements

My week at the jeweller’s bench.

Never say Never… I was never going to send my daughter to Boarding School and then it happened….I needed to occupy myself for the first week after she left….what better place to hang out than on a Central St Martin’s short course…
Jewellery and Wax Carving.

IMG_5027

Kings Cross campus is a fantastic venue, especially in the sunshine…the new space is perfect to work in and the teaching is first class.

IMG_5002

Gems and fine jewellery rarely reflect the industrial workshop that they are created in…..making jewellery is very physical…sawing, carving, filing, hammering, soldering…however the joy of St Martin’s is that they have a tool (or several) for every part of the process.

IMG_5034

Wax carving appears child’s play however the technique took a couple of days to master and by then you have made several mistakes which take time to fix. I absolutely love working at a jeweller’s bench and having a week dedicated to thinking and creating was such a luxury.  My first project was a commission from my 17 year old son.  He had a very specific ring he wanted and this was the perfect opportunity to realise that dream. He was thrilled with the result and has been proudly showing all his friends. Helping him to identify his style and then spending the time to make it perfect has been a very rewarding experience.

Other pieces I designed and created were made using fine sheets of wax and layering them up to make different shapes. I had an idea which morphed into a floral pendant and then a more delicate ring….I cast these in silver, however I can see the ring being made in rose gold with a little diamond set in the centre of the flower. I am interested to hear your feedback as this might become the beginning of my first range…

IMG_4989

Sarah x