Sparkling with unmatched brilliance and internal fire
Long before the inception of the zodiac and lunar calendar, gemstones held a special place in the human psyche for their perceived magical powers and channelling of cosmic energy fields for wellness. Of all the gemstones, however, the esteemed diamond remains at the pinnacle of those most coveted for its enduring beauty, intrinsic powers, and intoxicating history.
Diamonds were cherished long before they became the birthstone of April. It is unclear how and when in history specific months became linked with the various gemstones, although it is posited in the Judeo-Christian tradition that the concept harks back to biblical times. While the prophet Aaron (1396-1273 BCE) was first recorded to have decorated his breastplate with 12 assorted coloured gems, the tradition gained popular momentum with the introduction of astronomy and the zodiac in 4th Century BCE. Initially, people wore all twelve stones, rotating them by the month of the year to derive the greatest energy from each stone. However, as the belief gradually took hold that various gems held magical powers for individuals born in a given month, people started to exclusively wear their assigned birthstone as a talisman. Buddhists and Hindus on the other hand, following astrological charts, pivoted towards gemstones related to celestial planets to harness beneficial cosmic energy.
Sparkling with an unmatched brilliance and internal fire all its own, the diamond is by far the world’s most sought-after and cherished gemstone. Billions of years in the making, diamonds represent one of nature’s most wondrous and precious gifts. After being formed in the earth under immense pressure and heat, precise cutting and polishing brings out their incomparable beauty. Apart from colourless, diamonds are found in a wide range of colours including black, blue, green, pink, red, purple, orange, and yellow. Fancy coloured diamonds are celebrated by connoisseurs for their rarity and intriguing range of colours.
The first diamonds were discovered in alluvial deposits along the banks of the River Krishna in Golconda, in South India.
Recent archaeological excavations in Yemen have revealed evidence of trade in Indian diamond drilled beads going back to 1200 BC. By the 13th Century, a robust trade in diamonds within Europe was underway; they were rapidly becoming fashionable accessories for the elite. To cater to the rising demand, stone cutting factories sprung up in Venice, eventually leading to the first guild of diamond cutters being established in 1375 in Nuremberg, Germany. Called the Diamantaire, the guild is credited with developing the “Point Cut” in the latter half of the 14th Century. This cut follows the natural shape of an octahedral rough diamond crystal, eliminating waste during the cutting process.
The term diamond comes from Greek adamas, meaning “invincible,” or “unbreakable”. This quality is perhaps one of the reasons why diamonds have long been associated with power and resilience. Wearing the diamond is believed to enhance one’s personal power and courage while inspiring innovativeness, imagination, and creativity to one’s endeavours. It is also believed to help increase wealth and abundance in life, whilst helping one to overcome obstacles.
The wearing of diamonds is purported to bring other benefits too, such as balance and clarity. Also the symbol of eternal love, it is believed to instil fidelity in relationships; hence the exchange of diamond rings during marriages. The first diamond engagement ring on record was given by Archduke Maximillian of Austria to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, in 1477. Today, the diamond engagement ring has become a near-universal symbol of love and marriage.
Notable diamonds in modern history have included Elizabeth Taylor’s 33-carat diamond from Richard Burton, Kim Kardashian West’s 15-carat diamond from Kanye, and Olivia Wilde’s brilliant emerald-cut diamond from Jason Sudeikis – there is ring inspiration galore in the dazzling gems sported by stars.
Featured in our upcoming Important Jewels auction is a magnificent 25.02 diamond cut from a 47.961-carat rough. Mined in the Canadian Tundra, it was discovered in the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine in Kennady Lake, Northwest Territories. Cut to exacting specifications, the diamond is defined by its exceptional life, brilliance, and fire. Unparalleled on the market, this exquisite diamond presents a rare opportunity to acquire an incomparable and iconic symbol of the unrivalled birthstone.
HAMISH SHARMA / Head of Important Jewels