Press Release Summary: The diamond has a reputation for being a girl's best friend. But how do you spot a real gem?
Press Release Body: How do you spot a real gem? The diamond has a reputation for being a girl's best friend. But how do you spot a real gem?
No-one has summed up a womanīs feelings towards diamonds better that Marilyn Monroe when she took to our screens in Gentlemen prefer Blondes, declaring: \"Diamonds are a girl's best friend.\" Stars such as Elizabeth Taylor are famous for their jewels and no red carpet would be complete without a stream of A-listers adorned with precious gems borrowed for the evening. But such dazzlers aren't just for wearing. British artist Damien Hirst grabbed headlines earlier this year with his work for the Love of God- an 18th-century skull coated with 8,601 diamonds, including a large pink one worth more that $8 million in the centre of the forehead. Even cosmetics companies have created products made with crushed diamonds to tighten the complexion, clarify the skin and reverse signs of ageing. But why is there such demand for this special stone? It has been considered the ultimate symbol of love since as far back as the 15th century, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave Mary of Burgundy a diamond engagement ring. During this period, diamonds were considered to be lucky charms, bringing good fortune to the wearer. Since then the tradition of giving such a ring on engagement has been embraced the world over.
The hardest natural material in existence and with an amazing ability to disperse light and keep its luster, diamonds are ideal for any jewelry. When choosing a diamond there are four factors to consider: Carat: the weight or mass of the stone. Clarity: whether there are any internal defects, known as inclusions that can disrupt the flow of light.
Color: rated from D (colorless) to Z (yellow/brown). The clearer the stone, the better. Gemologists advise that it should be the color of a gin and tonic. Cut: the quality of the workmanship resulting in the angles of the stone and how it reflects light. Most familiar is the round, brilliant-cut diamond. Princess, emerald, marquise, pear an oval cuts are also popular. It is how these factors work together that determines why one stone might appear more beautiful than another-it is not always the most expensive that looks the best.
With an amazing ability to disperse light and keep its luster, diamonds are ideal for any type of jewelry.
THE WORLDīS MOST FAMOUS DIAMONDS
THE CULLINAN Part of the British Crown Jewels, it is the largest gem-quality rough diamond. Found in 1905 and weighing 3,106 carats, it was cut into nine major stones and 96 smaller ones. The Cullinan now resides in the Tower of London and is set in the scepter of King Edward VII.
KOH-I-NOOR (MOUNTAIN OF LIGHT) Discovered in 1304, it is one of the world's largest diamonds, weighing 186 carats. The oval-cut stone is said to have been set in the peacock throne of Shah Jahan. Recut during the reign of Queen Victoria, it now weighs 108 carats and forms part of the British Crown Jewels.
THE TAYLOR-BURTON Weighing 240.8 carats when found, it was bought by jeweler Harry Winston and divided into two pieces. The larger piece was auctioned and bought by Cartier for $1,050,000. The pear-shaped diamond was then purchased by Richard Burton and given to actress Elizabeth Taylor and named the Taylor-Burton. Following their divorce, Elizabeth sold the diamond and the current owner is Lebanese diamond dealer Robert Mouawad.
THE HOPE The Hope was cut from the French Blue, once owned by King Louis XIV of France and stolen during the French Revolution. Recut, it was bought in 1830 by Henry Philip Hope. It is also believed to be cursed as two of the ownersī families died only one year apart.
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