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D I A M O N D S


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Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2007, 09:28:09 pm »


Gabi Tolkowsky examines the Centenary with a jeweler's loupe.
A good photo to show you how massive this diamond is. Smiley



When he first saw the Centenary, Tolkowsky was astounded by its exceptional purity. "Usually you have to look into a diamond to appreciate its color, but this just expressed itself from its surface. That is very rare," Tolkowsky said. He knew the protruding "horn" would have to be removed as well as other "asperities," as he called them, which interfered with the stone's basic shape. At the same time, Tolkowsky realized that the diamond would be difficult to polish because its shape did not offer an obvious approach. Usually a diamond will suggest two or three shapes to its cutter but the Centenary was more generous - if more baffling - by providing several possibilities. In the end Tolkowsky submitted his appraisal, saying that the diamond must be kept intact to produce one singe large modern-cut diamond.

He was asked to cut the Centenary, and late in 1988 Tolkowsky, two master cutters - Geoff Woolett and Jim Nash - together with a handpicked group of engineers, electricians and security guards set to work in a specially designed underground room in the De Beers Diamond Research Laboratory in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was crucial that the room, like the special tools needed for faceting, should be stable and strong; nothing must rattle, everything must be tight, there should be no mechanical vibration or variation in temperature around the cutting table.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 09:29:51 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2007, 09:35:49 pm »








For one whole year while the right tools and technical conditions were created, the Centenary remained unaltered and untouched. Tolkowsky examined the stone until he knew every fissure and crevice of it. Using the most sophisticated electronic instruments he gazed deep into the crystal structure. "From the moment I knew I was going to cut it," he said, "I became another man. A strange man. I was looking at the stone in the day, and the stone was looking at me at night."





A picture of the Centenary in the hand of some unknown hand model. Another good photo to show scale.



The first step before the diamond could be faceted was the elimination of large cracks from the edge of the stone running a considerable depth inside it. He decided not to saw or cut with a laser because both methods would heat or vibrate the diamond. Instead, he turned to the time-honored method of kerfing by hand.

It took Tolkowsky 154 days to remove about 50 carats which otherwise would have been polished to dust. At the end was a roughly-shaped rounded crystal about the size of a bantam's egg, weighing about 520 carats. After that was an endless process of drawing and measuring as possible shape designs began to emerge.

In all, thirteen different designs were presented to the De Beers board, with the strong recommendation they should chose a modified heart shape. Once this recommendation had been accepted, the final process of faceting the Centenary began in March, 1990. By January, 1991 it was nearing completion.

When cutting was completed the Centenary weighed 273.85 carats, measured 39.90 × 50.50 × 24.55 mm, and had 247 facets - 164 on the stone and 83 around its girdle. Never before had such a high number of facets been polished onto a diamond.

In addition, two flawless pear shapes weighing 1.47 and 1.14 carats were cut from the rough.

Among top-color diamonds the Centenary is surpassed only by the Cullinan I (aka the Star of Africa) and the Cullinan II, which were cut from the Cullinan crystal before modern symmetrical cuts were fully developed in the 1920's, making the Centenary the largest modern fancy cut diamond in the world and the only one to combine the oldest methods - such as kerfing - with the most sophisticated modern technology in cutting.

The Cullinan diamonds are actually near-colorless, but qualify as white diamonds. The GIA color grading letters D, E and F qualify as colorless, and the Centenary is the best of the three - a 'D'.

This spectacular gem, which has become the ultimate example of those qualities was shown to the world for the first time in May, 1991. Mr. Nicholas Oppenheimer, then Deputy Chairman of De Beers rightly declared "Who can put a price on such a stone?" confirming that it was insured for around $100 million.

Whether the Centenary Diamond has since been sold is a mystery. The De Beers Group's policy is not to disclose such information so that the anonymity of its clients is protected. Some day the Centenary will probably resurface, perhaps at auction, or in a museum display housing some country's crown jewels.

Gabi Tolkowsky has since cut another large gem of note, the Pink Sun Rise, a 29-carat pink diamond with a facet pattern similar to the Centenary's. Also cut the largest faceted diamond in the world - the Golden Jubilee. Sources: Famous Diamonds by Ian Balfour, The Nature of Diamonds by George E. Harlow, and the De Beers website.

In the autumn of 2001, I found Gabi Tolkowsky's mailing address on the internet, and decided to write to him. He lives in Antwerp, Belgium, which comes as no surprise as as this is the diamond cutting capitol of the world. Among the questions I asked him was whether he had heard about the Centenary Diamond selling or not. In his reply he told me he had heard the rumor, but no one had confirmed it to him.

http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com/centenarydiamond.html
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 09:39:47 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2007, 09:42:17 pm »




The Pink Sun Rise



Famed diamond cutter Gabi Tolkowsky pays homage to his 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond with the Pink Sun Rise, a 29.78-carat diamond with a design similar to the Centenary's. The diamond is a rare, flawless pink and was cut by Tolkowsky and his team of master craftsmen. Tolkowsky is also famed for cutting the largest diamond in the world, the Golden Jubilee Diamond.
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« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2007, 09:44:36 pm »



                           
                                             G O L D E N   J U B I L E E




The Golden Jubilee is the largest faceted diamond in the world, weighing 545.67 carats. The stone was designed by Gabi Tolkowsky, who also designed the 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond, which is the largest D-Flawless diamond in the world. The Golden Jubilee was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997 for his Golden Jubilee - the 50th anniversary of his coronation. Prior to this event, the stone was simply known as the Unnamed Brown.
 


Tolkowsky describes the Golden Jubilee's cut as a "fire rose cushion cut." The color has been graded as "fancy yellow-brown", even though the above photo makes it look almost dark orange. It is only 15.37 carats larger than the Cullinan I, also known as the Star of Africa.



A small photo of the Golden Jubilee I managed to salvage from the DeBeers website.
Trivia Tidbit: The government of Thailand reported the stone as being a large golden topaz so as not to irritate the citizens -- Thailand has been in financial trouble for some years now, and the news of the purchase of the massive diamond would only make the popularity of the government drop.



A barely decent photo of the Golden Jubilee sitting on a cushion. I wish the stone was more publicized because then I wouldn't have to settle for tiny or grainy photos.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 10:03:54 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2007, 09:48:39 pm »


Golden Jubilee Diamond (another image)
Gabi Tolkowsky examines the diamond with a jeweler's loupe.









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« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2007, 01:37:41 pm »








                                                DIAMOND IN INDIA





HISTORICAL REVIEW of DIAMOND GEOLOGY and MINING
 
 
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Diamonds have been found in all five continents, but not to the same extent in each. It has been longest known in Asia, where the famous old Indian deposits have probably been known and worked from the earliest times.

Diamonds have been known longer in this country than in any other, and the most beautiful, famous and many of the largest stones were found here. As far back as AD 77, we are told, Pliny (Roman writer) in his Historis Naturalis had given extraordinary information regarding precious stones and metals around the world, a large proportion of them being of Indian origin, he referred to Indian adamas (diamond), smaragdus (emerald), beryl, opal, etc.

In AD 90-60 approx. Ptolemy (Greek astronomer) too refers to the diamond river in India.

The fact that diamonds were known to, and highly prized by, the ancient inhabitants of the country is proved by the rich adornment of the oldest temples of religion with this and other precious stones. The sacred shrines and idols show, moreover, that the art of diamond cutting has been long understood.
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« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2007, 01:39:39 pm »








Until the discovery of the Brazilian deposits in 1728, the supply of the whole world was derived almost entirely from the Indian sources, Borneo, Southeast Asia island, being at that time the only other known locality. 

The occurrences of diamond in India were distributed over an extensive area of the country.
C. Ritter in his Erdkunde von Asien (vol. iv, part 2, p. 343, 1836) collected together the various scattered reports concerning the diamond localities, and was the first to give a detailed and connected account. Later (1881), Professor V. Ball has given an exhaustive account.

That the occurrence of diamonds in India is almost entirely confined to the eastern side of the Deccan plateau is to be gathered from the finds of the present day and from the reports of earlier times. The southern boundary of the region in which diamonds have been found is the river Penner in latitude 14º N.; from this river the diamond localities form a frequently interrupted line running northwards on the east side of the Deccan plateau, crossing the Kistna, Godavari and Mahanadi rivers, and reaching the southern tributaries of the Lower Ganges in Bengal, between the rivers Son and Khan, in latitude 25º N.

 Any other diamond localities outside the area just marked out are unimportant, and the reports concerning them are often uncertain. In general, many of the reported localities for diamond are doubtful, they're being no exact and reliable information respecting them, or they are simply based on the existence of old mines.
 
It is often supposed that all Indian diamond mines are of the greatest antiquity. In many cases the date at which the workings were commenced is not known; but the working of the most important deposits known at the present day does not date back to very remote periods, probably in all cases subsequent to the year 1000 A.D. and sometimes much later. Of a few mines it is known exactly when work began, as will be mentioned below. 

Diamonds are found in India in compact sandstones and conglomerates, in the loose, incoherent weathered products of these rocks at places where they lie on the surface, and in the sands and gravels of those rivers and streams which have flowed over the diamantiferous strata or their weathered debris and have washed out the stones from their former situations.
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« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2007, 01:40:57 pm »

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« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2007, 01:42:42 pm »








C. Ritter arranged the Indian diamond mines known to him in five groups, according to their geographical distribution, and described them in order from south to north. In what follow, this grouping will be adopted, the smaller mining districts not mentioned by Ritter being introduced in appropriate places, and information derived from later reports, especially those of V. Ball, incorporated with the matter given by Ritter (Ball gives a rather different grouping of the mines). The map shows the distribution of the diamond-fields in India.

 
1. The Cuddapah Group on the Penner River.

This group includes the most southerly mines; those furthest to the east are in the neighborhood of Cuddapah on the river Penner, where numerous mines have been worked for several centuries with varying success. At the present time the majority of the mines in this group - perhaps, at times, the whole of them - are abandoned, but this by no means indicates that the supply of diamonds has been completely exhausted.


2. The Nandial Group between the Penner and Kistna Rivers.

This group lies near the town of Banaganapalli, and only about seventeen miles north of the last group. It is situated on the northern margin of the plain, which extends from the western slopes of the Nallamalais as far as the town of Nandial (lat. 15º 30' N., long. 78º 30' E.). The mines of this group, which are sometimes referred to, for example, by V. Ball, as the Karnul diamond mines, lie to the east, southeast, and west of Nandial, and are partly in the diamantiferous bed itself and partly in the sands. This group, of which a few only of the more important workings can here be mentioned, includes some of the most famous mines ever worked in India, the majority of which, however, are now abandoned.
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« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2007, 01:45:23 pm »









3. The Ellore (or GOLCONDA) Group on the Kistna River.


The defining characteristics of Golconda diamonds and what sets them apart and in a class by themselves are their incredible transparency, "whiteness", and purity. The term "GOLCONDA" has come to define diamonds of the finest white color and transparency & some descriptive terms used to define Golconda diamonds have been; "whiter than white", "like a clear river stream", and brighter than bright".
Golconda diamonds are very, very rare in today's market and if you do come across one it will usually be at a Christie's or Sotheby's auction.

The mines of this group are situated on the lower portion of the Kistna River and include some of the oldest and most famous of Indian diamond mines, the largest and most beautiful of Indian stones having been derived from these so-called Golconda mines. They derive their name, not from their situation, but from the fact that the diamonds from these mines were sent to the market held near the old fortress of Golconda, not far from Haidarabad, this being also the market for stones from Chennur.

At the time of Tavernier's visit to these mines, more than twenty were being worked, most of them being extraordinarily rich. With two or three exceptions, the whole were later deserted, and the situations of many of them, including some, which French merchant traveller(16th century) Jean Baptiste Tavernier described as being most famous, are now forgotten.

The richest of the mines to the east of Golconda were those of Kollur, which lies on the right bank of the Kistna, west of Chintapilly and in latitude 16º 42-1/2' N. and longitude 80º 5' E. of Greenwich. The discovery of the diamantiferous deposit at Kollur was made about 100 years before Tavernier's visit, namely, about 1560.A 25-carat stone was first accidentally found, and numerous others soon followed, many weighing from 10 to 40 carats, and some still more. The quality of the stones, however, was not always as satisfactory as their size, cloudy and impure specimens being frequent.

Such famous diamonds as the "Koh-i-noor," now in the English crown jewels, and the "Great Mogul," the whereabouts of which, unless it is identical with the " Koh-i-noor," is now unknown, were very probably found in these mines, in addition to some beautiful blue stones, including the Hope blue diamond.

Tavernier stated that 60,000 people were engaged in these mines at the time of his visit; today, however, they are completely deserted, as are also numerous other workings situated in the valley of the Kistna, between Kollur and Chintapilly, and between the latter place and Partial. It is still the Golconda diamonds that reign supreme among gem connoisseurs in terms of quality, mystery and romance.
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« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2007, 01:47:31 pm »








4. The Sambalpur Group on the Mahanadi River.

This group is situated a good distance to the northwest of the previous group, and lies between latitude 21º and 22º north, in the Central Provinces. The diamonds known to the ancients may have been those of the Mahanadi River, the diamond river mentioned by Ptolemy being supposed to be in this district, and being, in fact, identified by many authors with the Mahanadi River itself.

The occurrence of diamond is limited to the neighborhood of Sambalpur, no other part of the river having given any yield. The mining district extends over a fertile plain, which at the town of Sambalpur stands 451 feet above sea level, and forms the stretch of land between the Mahanadi and Brahmani Rivers. The date of the first discovery of stones here is unknown, but Sambalpur has been a familiar diamond locality since very remote times.

Large stones are said to have been found in the Mahanadi with some frequency. The largest was found at the island of Hira Khund in 1809 it weighed 210.6 carats, but ranked only as a stone of the third water, and its subsequent history is unknown. Generally speaking the stones found here were very good in quality, the diamonds of the Mahanadi and of Chutia Nagpur ranking amongst the finest and purest of Indian stones.


5. The Panna Group in Bundelkhand.

This, the most northerly group of Indian diamond mines, is situated between the Khan and Son rivers in latitude 25º N., and lies on the northern margin of the Bundelkhand plateau where this borders the plain of the Ganges and Jumna. Some of the mines lie in the immediate neighborhood of Panna (Punnah), to the south-west of Allahabad on the Ganges, others are further away to the west, south and east of this town; all are classed together as the Panna mines.

Large stones are not known to occur in this district nor do any appear to have been found in former times, though the number of smaller diamonds of good quality found now as well as formerly is considerable. The form of the crystals is that of the octahedron or of the rhombic dodecahedron. They occur in the special diamantiferous stratum and in the loose surface material derived from the weathering of the same, and have also been transported with river-gravels. The diamond stratum here belongs, as previously remarked, not to the Lower, but to the Upper Vindhyan formation.

The Panna mines are at present the most productive diamond mines in India. The diamond mines located in a belt of 80 kms across the district. At present the major diamond mining is assigned to a Government of India Undertaking, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) - Diamond Mine Project. The belt starts from Paharikhera North-East to Majhgawan South-West with breadth around 30 kms. There are several open diamond mines working in small scale for diamond exploration in Panna

As a general rule, Indian stones rank high in the possession of the most desirable qualities. An Indian stone often shows a combination of luster, purity of water, strength of fire, and perfect "blue-whiteness" of color.
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« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2007, 01:51:35 pm »









                                                 LARGE AND FAMOUS DIAMONDS.





All the older famous diamonds of large size and enormous value, which are known by special names, come from India, the genuineness of the diamonds is unquestionable.
 

The Hope Diamond







Weight: 45.52 carats

Color: dark blue

Clarity: flawless

Cut: Oval Brilliant



A dark, steely blue stone from India, the Hope diamond history is more notorious than any other famous diamond & is renowned for its striking the color and its fascinating history of bringing bad luck to its private owners. It has been stolen and recovered, sold and resold, cut and recut. Through it all, the value of diamond increased
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« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2007, 01:55:39 pm »








The legend of the Hope Diamond began in 1642, and it weighted about 112 carats. A French diamond merchant named Jean Tavernier found the diamond in India. Tavernier took the diamond out of India to show it for Louis XIV, the King in 1668, after returning from his sixth trip to India. It was first cut Indian style, and weighed 112.50 carats. However, Tavernier was killed by wild dogs during the another trip on business to India.

Five years after Louis XIV bought it, he had the royal goldsmith cut it into 67 carats, the shape of a heart. The dark blue diamond was called "the Royal French Blue" or "Blue Diamond of the Crown". In 1774 Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette inherited the French Blue and wore it, as it was popularly known.

When the revolution broke out the heart cut blue diamond while under guard in the French Treasure House -- Grade Meuble, the Heart Cut Blue Diamond was stolen together with all of the French Crown Jewels. Some of the gems taken in this robbery were recovered, but not the Heart Cut Blue Diamond.

 The Heart Cut Blue Diamond was believed to be sold in Spain and there cut into three smaller stones. The Goya portrait of Queen Marie Louisa painted in 1799 shows her wearing a deep blue diamond cut into 44.5 carats of rounded oval. It is said that the stolen Royal French Blue was recut to its present size by Wilhelm Fals, a young Dutch diamond cutter. Fales is said to have died of grief after his son, Hendrick stole the gem from him. Hendrick, in turn, committed suicide.

Evidence suggests that the Hope Diamond was acquired in the early 1800s by King George IV of England, and likely sold at his death in 1830 to help pay off his debts.
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« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2007, 01:57:56 pm »








In 1830, the Royal French Blue Diamond appeared in public again. Henry Phillip Hope a wealthy banker bought the diamond for $90,000. It was after that the diamond took on its now still existing name "the Hope Diamond". It stayed in the Hope family until the turn of the century and the legend of its sinister influence began again. Almost the entire Hope family died in poverty. The original Henry Hope died without marrying, leaving the stone to his nephew. The stone was then passed on to a grandson who changed his surname to Hope to inherit it. Unfortunately bad luck plagued him, and his wife ran off with another man. The last of the Hopes went bankrupt and the stone was sold after numerous attempts (and despite the opposition of other family members) in 1901.

The diamond was said to be purchased by a New York diamond merchant, Simon Frankel. It changed hands frequently in the next few years. At this point, the diamond was said to be involved in several bizarre events, although none have been substantiated.

First, a French broker by the name of Jacques Colot was said to have bought the stone before becoming insane and committing suicide. Next, a Russian or Eastern European prince, Ivan Kanitowsky, supposedly loaned or gave the diamond to an actress at the Folies Bergère, who was shot the first time she wore it. The prince himself was stabbed to death by revolutionaries; a Greek jeweler who sold the diamond to the Sultan of Turkey was thrown over a cliff while riding in a car with his wife and child. The Turkish Sultan, Selim Habib, was deposed in the 1908 revolution.

It was put up for auction in Paris in 1909 but apparently no one bought it. Shortly after that, C. H. Rouseau purchased it only to resell it the same year to Cartier, the French jeweler.
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« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2007, 02:00:50 pm »








Mrs. McLean was the daughter of Thomas F. Walsh, who amassed a fortune in gold mining. She spent her early childhood in mining camps in Colorado and South Dakota, but was later educated in Washington D.C. and in Europe. She married Edward Beale McLean, son of the owner of the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Washington Post.

Mr. Edward B. McLean and his wife found it at Cartier. He was the son of millionaire publisher John R. McLean. Edward and his new bride each had $100,000 from their respective fathers as a wedding gift; Mrs. McLean was not able to take it at that time, as her husband did not want to put his half of the money. One year later Cartier arrived in Washington with it reset in a necklace, Mrs. McLean raised $154,000 to buy it from him.

Although Mrs. McLean refused to believe in the legendary Hope "curse" she also endured a number of family tragedies. Her brother died young; her nine-year-old son was run over by a car and killed; her ex-husband drank heavily and died in a mental institution; and her only daughter died of a drug overdose at age 25. Mrs. McLean never recovered from the latter tragedy, and passed away only a year later.

Upon her death, Mrs. McLean's extensive jewelry collection was purchased by Harry Winston Inc. of New York City.
 
Harry Winston first displayed the Hope Diamond in his Fifth Avenue salon in New York. After exhibiting it among other notable gems for the next 10 years, the firm donated it to the Smithsonian Institution.

He sent it by registered mail in a plain brown wrap, to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958. The stamps cost him $145.00, $2.44 postage and the rest for insurance of $1,000,000.
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