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Masterpiece Replicas of the
Worlds most famous diamonds
Imagine the stories they could tell
Famous for their colour, size & history, after a lot of work & expense we are bringing this collection to Singleton , After showings at various exhibitions around the world, presented with a full program & a documentary
To see the diamonds replicated in this exhibition, you would have to travel to museums in America, England, France, Germany, Turkey and Iran – just to name a few locations (natural history museum tower of London, louvre, Smithsonian, green hall Dresden, etc) . Some replicas are in permanent displays & the full collection travels.
Indeed, even that wouldn’t be enough, as some of the wonderful stones on display have been lost to history, such as the 90-carat Nassak, the 140-carat Florentine and the 242-carat Great Table diamond.
Collection on display in store for a limited time June & July 2012
a couple of examples below
The 45.52-carat, steel-blue Hope diamond started life as a rough crystal weighing 112 carats. French diamond merchant Jean Baptiste Tavernier acquired the stone from a slave and sold it to King Louis XIV, whereupon the king had it cut into a triangular, pear-shaped stone weighing 67.50 carats. Throughout its life as the Tavernier Blue diamond, and then the French Blue diamond, the fancy coloured stone garnered a reputation for ill-fortune that continued when it was eventually cut into the Hope diamond. Following the death of Louis XIV, the then French Blue diamond disappeared and was considered lost. It wasn’t until 1830 when a large, blue diamond of a different shape and weight (44.50 carats) appeared on the market in England and was purchased by Henry Thomas Hope, an English banker. Taking on its modern-day name, the Hope diamond was shown at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London in 1851, where it was insured for the truly astonishing figure of one-million dollars – but then again, this was the largest diamond of its type in the world. It was then inherited by a descendant of Henry Thomas Hope, Lord Francis Pelham Clinton Hope, whose wife left him and who eventually went bankrupt. The Hope’s next owner was Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of Turkey, who purchased the diamond for $US450,000 and gave it to Subaya, a wife who he later executed. Hamid II had the jewel smuggled to Paris in 1911 where it sold to Evalyn Walsh McLean, but he did not receive a penny after he was dethroned and the proceeds seized by his successors. In 1949, two years after her death, Harry Winston purchased the McLean collection, which contained not only the Hope Diamond but also the Star of the East. Winston later gave it to the nation and it is now on display in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC. In 1975, the stone was removed from its setting to be cleaned and weighed. It turned out to actually weigh 45.52 carats, rather than the 44.50 carats previously thought. This is attributed to the standardisation of the carat in the early 1900s. Many people believe the Hope is the largest blue diamond in the world, but this isn’t true. It’s actually the fourth largest; however, it is the largest dark blue diamond in the world – the others are lighter shades. Up until recently it has been speculated that the long-lost 13.75-carat Brunswick Blue diamond was a fragment of the French Blue. Other experts have argued that Brunswick Blue II – a 6.50-carat, pear-shaped, blue diamond – is instead the fragment of the French Blue, rather than the 13.75-carat Brunswick Blue. This was later disproved beyond a shadow of a doubt by gem cutter and diamond replicator Scott Sucher, with the help of Steve and Nancy Attaway and the Smithsonian mineralogy curator Jeffrey E. Post. Sucher’s research successfully proves that no secondary gems were fashioned from the French Blue when it was recut into the Hope Diamond The hopes current setting
the Golden Fleece was created for Louis XV and was the finest piece of jewelry in Europe during the 18th century. The stones consisted of the 32 carat Bazu diamond, 108 ct Cote de Bretagne spinel carved in the shape of a dragon, the French Blue diamond, three yellow sapphires, five diamonds of around 10 carats each, and over 400 diamonds of about 3-5 points each.
The golden fleece recently reproduced
This monumental effort culminated in a ceremony 30 June 2010 at the Garde Meuble in central Paris where the Golden Fleece was unveiled to an invitation-only crowd of about 100 people. What made it historically poetic is that the original ornament was stolen from this very building in September 1792.
Astralis by Gabi Tolkowsky
Diamonds with a remarkable character Gabi Tolkowsky is the worlds most celebrated diamond cutter and sixth generation of the renowned Tolkowsky diamond dynasty. In a remarkable career spanning over 50 years, Gabi has cut the world’s largest and most valuable diamonds including the De Beers Centenary diamond and the Golden Jubilee. In 2003, Gabi was knighted by the Belgian Government, with the title Chevalier de L’Ordre du Roi Leopold II, for his services to the diamond industry. The remarkable Astralis diamond is Gabi Tolkowsky’s signature creation and features a unique star in every culet. This demonstrates the perfection of the cut and a unique facet arrangement, resulting in stones which are up to 30% brighter. “I have devoted my life’s work to releasing the brilliance in diamonds. Whether it’s the largest diamond in the world, or for any of my individual customers, I address every diamond in exactly the same way, asking the same question every time: How do I unlock the beauty of this diamond? Astralis is the answer to that question.”
The Centenary Diamond
In 1986, De Beers Consolidated Mines recovered one of the largest white rough diamonds ever found from the Premier Diamond Mine in South Africa. Weighing nearly 600ct as a rough diamond,
In 1988, Gabi Tolkowsky was asked by De Beers to evaluate the rough stone, and assess the viability of cutting it as the world’s largest D colour flawless diamond. Valued at the time at $100m, Gabi assembled a team of the world’s finest diamond cutters to work with him in cutting the stone to his rigorous specification. the Centenary Diamond is the largest D colour flawless diamond in the world. With over 247 facets, the modified heart shaped diamond weighs 273.85ct. Never before had so many facets
been polished into one diamond.
The Golden Jubilee
Whilst cutting the Centenary Diamond, Gabi and his team were presented with a rough diamond weighing 755ct. Known
Over the next three years Gabi and his team based themselves at a secret underground location in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they worked on the masterpieces that would become two of the most famous diamonds in the world.
Despite immense technical challenges, Gabi and his team produced the masterpiece which became known as the Golden Jubilee. At 545ct,
it remains to this day the largest faceted diamond in the world.
Cut by Gabi Tolkowsky,
below are links to other famous diamonds
The Blue Heart (sometimes called the Eugénie Blue)
The Condé (Sometimes called the Condé Pink or Le Grand Condé)
The De Beers (and the recently rediscovered Patiala Necklace)
The Florentine (replica cut by Scott Sucher)
The Moussaieff Red (formerly known as the Red Shield)
The Orlov (sometimes spelled ‘Orloff’)
The Russian Crown Jewels (Includes the Shah Diamond – the Orlov was moved to its own section, see above)
The Spoonmaker’s (also known as the Kasikci)
The Victoria (sometimes called the Jacob)
The Diamond – Just Another Rock?
A Message from the spokesman for the Diamond Kingdom
We diamonds have a couple confessions to make. We are not natural beauties and we are not forever.
Yes, it’s true. When people see us lying in a stream or in a pile of dirt, they usually think we’re just another rock. We look so ordinary. The first person that picked us up never dreamed we could both serve him and dazzle him. As time passed by, his descendants learned that we could cut any kind of rock or metal, but nothing could cut us except another diamond, so naturally we got drafted as saws, knives and drills. Yes, diamonds were used as tools long before they were cut as jewels.
We’re proud of the Taj Majal in India. Its intricate marble designs were cut by diamond tools. We’re equally proud to see how indispensable we are to twentieth-century man. He uses us to drill for oil and gas, to mine ores, to fashion gemstones, to cut metal parts for cars, rockets and farm machinery. Dentists use us to drill teeth. Surgeons use us to cut bone and tissue.
When man discovered that we diamonds can drill and cut better than anything else, he only began to recognize our potential. Outer space and defense programs take advantage of our ability to resist radiation, temperature and chemical damage. The electronics industry relies on us because not only can we conduct heat as well as any metal, we are also good electrical insulators. Think of us the next time you use a phone, a computer, a refrigerator, a television or an electric light. Is it any wonder that companies like General Electric and Japan’s Sumitomo electric Industries have spent so much time and money learning to create diamonds? Yes, man-made diamonds are now a reality.
Most of you people are probably more familiar with our optical qualities – our transparency, brilliance and sparkle. These have not only earned us a reputation as the most important gemstone, they have also increased our practical value by making us useful for lenses, lasers and windows for outer space.
Maybe you think we’re conceited for telling you how good we are. We’re only trying to prove that we’re not just another rock. Actually, we’d be the first to admit that we’re only simple folk. Coal and pencil lead are our next of kin. All of us are nothing but carbon, and that’s why you can’t say that diamonds are forever. When you heart us in oxygen up to about 700oC, we start turning into carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide.
We can understand, though, that someone who has a hard time making it past the age of 100 would think that a diamond that’s a few million years old is forever; but to us, a few million years isn’t much. Your scientists are finally beginning to realize that we existed long before your solar system did, now that they’re studying us in meteorites.
Man also has a hard time imagining that something so simple and practical as a diamond can be transformed into a handsome work of art. Maybe that’s why it took him so long to bring out our inner beauty. It’s only been in the last few hundred that he’s cut tiny geometrical windows around us to reflect and let in light. Until about 1919, most of us looked a bit lackluster compared to the way we look today. Then the mathematician Marcel Tolkowsky published a complex formula for cutting us that made us more brilliant.
The Tolkowsky formula and other similar ones can only work well on diamonds that pass the jewel qualifying exam – an inspection so severe that about 60% of all diamonds fail. This exam is a nightmare for us. The results determine whether we will bask under someone’s appreciative eye or slave away as, perhaps, a drill.
After we’ve qualified as potential jewels, we undergo a beauty makeover that transforms us from ordinary looking rocks into extraordinary looking jewels. Makeover artists, also called diamond cutters, are in charge of this process. When they are finished, we start entering beauty contests. To get top scores in these contests, diamonds must have lively and sparkling personality, an attractive shape, a clean character and individual charm. The judging is subjective and often there are hot debates over the scoring, particularly when large sums of prize money are at stake.
You might expect that the winners of these beauty contests have the best lives. More often than not they end up stuck in a safe deposit box, especially the large diamonds. It’s true that life as a drill is a real bore, but life in a dark lonely box is not much better. Occasionally, some of the winners end up in museums and have a pretty good life, but those diamonds that end up the happiest are those worn day in and day our by you. Yet these are not normally the diamonds with the highest scores
suspect you find it strange that I talk about diamonds being happy. Plato and other great philosophers knew that diamonds are living beings and have the same types of feelings as humans, but for some reason, most of you don’t want to accept this fact. Let me assure you that we diamonds do have feelings, both positive and negative
We are angered and hurt when people are duped into losing their life savings on us, when workers in the diamond industry are exploited, when arguments, robberies, murders and wars occur because of us. Somebody even told us that we were part of the cause of the French revolution. It had something to do with a diamond necklace scandal. But, on second thought, maybe our role in that scandal was more positive than negative. When terrible things happen because of us, blame yourselves for misusing diamonds, don’t blame us.
Fortunately life is not all bad; we do a lot of good. We create jobs for hundreds of thousands of people. We give people a means of escaping from oppressive governments. Non-jewel diamonds help supply you with food, energy, transportation, medical equipment and comfortable homes.
All of this good gives us great satisfaction, but there is something that gives us even more pleasure. It’s when our mere presence makes man happy. What a joy it is to see the delight in the eye of newlyweds admiring their diamond wedding rings. What a joy it is to see a widow’s grief interrupted by memories of some of the happiest moments of her life, as she looks down at here diamond engagement ring. What a joy it is to see people momentarily forget their everyday worries and frustrations and focus on thoughts of beauty and love, as they glance at us on their hands or wrists.
As long as you enjoy us and use us toward good ends, we diamonds don’t expect anything in return for brightening up your lives. Well, maybe that’s a bit of a lie. We will be bold enough to ask one little favor of you. It’s this: If anyone ever tries to tell you that the diamond is just another rock, please tell him he’s full of poppycock.