Elizabeth Taylor loved them. So did Marilyn Monroe. Holly Golightly already marveled at them for breakfast - even if through the window. The Roman scholar Plinius the Elder even attributed healing powers to them. Others, on the other hand, see in them only "a piece of coal that had a lot of endurance". Celebrities own them, kings hoard them, thieves stoe and still steal them in sometimes spectacular actions. Ernest Oppenheimer made a fortune with them - and countless men still lose at least a small one because of them, in order to please their loved one.
A short history of diamonds
We're talking about diamonds, the kings amond the gemstones. They were first discovered in India over 2000 years ago (more precisely: about the fourth century B.C.), and already then the fascination was great. Later they gained some popularity also in Greco-ROman antiquity, where the diamond was given the name "Adamas" (Greek, "invincible", Latin: "diamond") at this time. Magic powers were attributed to it, Plinius the Elder (*23 A.D.) even attributed him "the highest value not only among gemstones, but among all things known to man". And this, although in ancient times only rough diamonds were known - because the fact that the diamond reveals its true beauty through the right cut was only discovered a few centuries later. The brilliant cut known today is only about 100 years old.
Less young and above all imperishable is the fascination that the diamond and its own brilliance, which in turn is created by the numerous internal light reflections, exerts on people. The history of diamonds is flanked by medieval globetrotters, clever entrepreneurs, monarchs, knights of fortune and countless myths. Or, to put it in the words of the writer Stefan Kanfer: "Diamonds have always been much more than mere gemstones. They are a glittering history on the skin."
So it is not surprising that also some diamonds have their own and sometimes breathtaking story to tell. The famous Koh-i-Noor (Persian, "Mountain of Light"), for example, impresses not only by its stately weight of approximately 110 carats, but also thanks to its moving vita. It is probably the only existing diamond whose path can be traced the longest. According to this, the Hindu gods of Indian mythology have already quarreled about it - at least 5000 years old Sanskrit scriptures suggest this.
What is certain, however, is that the Sultan of Delhi stole it from Raja of Malwa in 1304. About 400 years later it fell into the hands of the Shah of Persia, and after his death it moved to the treasury of Punjab and then into the possession of the British East India Company. It was not until 1850 that he undertook his final journey to Great Britain, where he was presented to Queen Victoria. Her successors used the Koh-i-Noor in their crowns, and today it can be admired as part of the British crown jewels in the Tower of London.
But the times in which diamonds were only reserved for kings and exclusively enriched royal treasuries are now over. Today they not only decorate crowns, but also many women from almost all cultures and parts of the world. They inspire the imagination of writers, musicians and scriptwriters and make it into the media again and again.
Pompous diamonds, which are predominantly auctioned at Sotheby's or Christie's, arouse international interest. Diamond museums all over the world attract thousands of visitors every year. In Antwerp's diamond district, not only traders but also interested tourists have been romping about for a long time. And last but not least: from the gemstone of kings, diamonds have also advanced to become a woman's best friend, as Marilyn Monroe stressed in 1953.
In contrast to its prominent representatives such as Koh-i-Noor, the diamond can no longer be found in India today, but in Russia, South Africa, the Republic of Congo, Canada, Australia and the United States. Just as varied as his now well-known colour spectrum, which includes almost all colours of the rainbow, are the cuts, which are constantly developed and refined in today's grinding centres of Antwerp, Ramat Gan (Israel), New York and Surat (India).
How to estimate the value of a diamond
Before the diamond adorns a woman, however, a particularly important question arises: How do you recognize the quality of a diamond? The answer is given by the "4 Cs", which are indispensable for assessing quality. "4 Cs" - that means: Carat, Colour, Clarity, Cut, i.e. weight, colour, clarity and cut of the stone.
First, the weight of a diamond (like all other gemstones) is given in carats. One carat corresponds to 0.2 grams - just like the seeds of the carob tree (Latin: Ceratonia siliqua), which were originally used as a weighing unit for diamonds and therefore give the carat its name.
But size alone says nothing about the quality of a diamond. The colour is also decisive. With the exception of coloured diamonds ("fancy diamonds"), the following classification applies to white or almost colourless diamonds:
The closer the diamond comes to the very fine white (river), the more valuable it is.
The same applies to clarity. Since diamonds are formed many kilometres underground under high pressure, mineral inclusions are the rule. In the case of gemstones, however, most inclusions are hardly visible to the naked eye. In most cases this is only possible with the help of a loop. Nevertheless, the value of a diamond is measured by its clarity. The following applies here: the fewer inclusions, the more precious the stone.
The cut of a diamond is just as decisive. Because only the right cut leads to the fact that the diamond reflects the maximum of the absorbed light. Finding the cut that brings out the best in a rough diamond is the art of a trained diamond cutter.
The classic brilliant cut with 58 facets transforms the diamond into a brilliant cut diamond. No less popular are diamonds in princess, emerald, marquise, marquise or heart cut. The right cut (ranging from "very good" with excellent brilliance and optimum proportions to "poor" with severely impaired brilliance) decides whether a diamond has a lively fire or appears lifeless.
In this respect, diamonds are not only suitable as gemstones, but also as an investment. Or: as probably the most beautiful investment in the world. Because then, as now, diamonds, especially the best, are rare. And what is rare is precious at the same time.
In any case, diamonds never lose their value, just as they never lose their fascination, shine and beauty.
Purchasing a diamond
Are you interested in diamonds as an investment? Are you looking for a special stone that you can't find in specialist shops? Or are you simply attracted by the beauty of a classic solitaire, such as a diamond solitaire ring? Then you have come to the right place. Due to our close contacts to the best diamond cutters and dealers, we are not only able to offer you a fair price-performance ratio, but also to assist you in your search for very rare stones (e.g. heart cut or "fancy colours"). Whether one-carat or two-carat, D to G color or fancy yellow, princess or brilliant cut - we will be happy to advise you.
Here, too, our credo is: buying jewellery is and remains a matter of trust. For this reason you will receive an appraisal from an independent testing institute (GIA, IGI or EGI) for every single diamond ordered from a size of 0.50 carats. Of course, we will present this to you even before you place an order.
Of course, it is also possible to transform your diamond into a piece of jewellery. If you are interested in a classic diamond solitaire ring (for example as an engagement ring), we would be happy to design it according to your wishes and specifications. This means that you choose not only the diamond, but also the mounting. From a timeless prong setting to a bezel setting or a tension setting and many more - in cooperation with our goldsmiths we will also fulfil your individual wishes. The same applies to diamond solitaire studs and pendants. Simply contact us without obligation.