Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Laurence Graff - The King of Diamonds

Laurence Graff has earned the nickname the ‘King of Diamonds’. He is one of the most successful jewellers and gem dealers of our age. Graff has bought and sold some of the most iconic stones in the world over his long and glittering career. In 1960 he founded the Graff Diamonds Company Limited in Hatton Garden, London. The venture was an instant success.

Laurence Graff and François Graff
Graff’s The Royal Star of Paris features a 107.46 carat Fancy Yellow cushion-cut diamond, suspending the Graff Perfection, a 100 carat D Flawless pear-shaped diamond drop.

Le Collier Bleu de Reve necklace features a 10.47 carat Fancy Vivid Blue Internally Flawless briolette diamond, above a 4.22 carat old-mine Colombian emerald.

Sapphire and Diamonds “Secret” Tassel Brooch. A pavé diamond watch face is concealed suspended from a platinum chain.


10.62 carats fancy diamonds crossover ring. 5.01 carat Fancy Brown Orange Pink Internally Flawless pear shape diamond and a 5.05 carat Fancy Vivid Orange Yellow pear shape diamond.

Graff tassel necklace, featuring pigeon's blood Burmese rubies and white diamonds

Graff's Diamond Flower Brooch features an 8.97 carat pear-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink Orange diamond

24.78 carat Pink Emerald-Cut Graff Diamond
“The Golden Empress” a 132.55-carat Fancy Intense cushion-cut yellow diamond set on a necklace with 30 other yellow diamonds.

Graff Rhythm platinum necklace featuring rubies and diamonds

Monday, 18 September 2017

Chaumet Fine Jewels

Marie-Étienne Nitot (1750-1809) settled in Paris in 1780 after having served his apprenticeship at Auber, then jeweller to Queen Marie-Antoinette. His aristocratic clientele remained loyal to him until the French Revolution in 1789.

He later became the official jeweller of Napoleon in 1802. Nitot created the jewellery that would offer the French Empire it's splendour and power.
The jewellery for Napoleon’s wedding to Joséphine de Beauharnais, and later to Marie Louise de Habsburg-Lorraine, was created by Nitot. He designed and set Napoleon’s coronation crown, the hilt of his sword as well as many other pieces for the court.

François Regnault Nitot took over his father’s jewellery House on his death in 1809 and continued his activity until the fall of the Empire in 1815. Napoleon’s exile caused Nitot, a fervent royalist, to withdraw from the jewellery House, selling the business to his foreman.

French Tiara given to Josephine by Napoleon.

Crown of Empress Eugenie

Coronation crown of Napoleon

Napoleon's Iron Crown of Lombardy Ring
Chaumet was bought in October 1999 by LVMH. After an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate the American market in the end of the 1990s, the company opened stores in Asia to fuel growth.

Chaumet is now part of the watch and jewellery brands that includes TAG Heuer, Zenith, Fred, Hublot, Montres Christian Dior, and De Beers Diamond Jewellers (a joint venture between the LVMH and De Beers groups).


Sunday, 17 September 2017

Yowah Opal

Yowah is a small town in outback western Queensland, Australia. Yowah is located 938 kilometres west of Brisbane and 132 kilometres west of Cunnamulla. The 2006 census revealed a population of 142.

The town is famous for its opal mining and numerous opal fields that lie around the town as well as the "Yowah Nut" a local type of opal distinctive to the region. The area was first leased in 1883 to perspective settlers and opal mining has been the main activity ever since.

The Yowah field is an occurrence of opal in siliceous ironstone nodules generally referred to as Yowah Nuts. These nuts have a spherical or ellipsoidal shape, and show alternate bands of light and dark-brown siliceous ironstone. There is sometimes a kernel of precious opal, which is the main source of the gem.

The nuts are found in layers (150–600mm in thickness) at depths up to 20m in a ferruginous sandstone, and are commonly associated with mudstone fragments or clay pellets.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Golconda Diamond Mines of India

Golconda, also known as Golkonda or Golla konda ("shepherd's hill"), is a ruined fort of Southern India and capital of the medieval Golconda Sultanate (c.1518–1687). It is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad.

The region is known for the mines that have produced some of the world's most famous gems.
The Golconda fort was built in 945-970 CE. It fell into ruins after a siege and its fall to Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1687 AD.

Golconda was a region located between the lower reaches of the Godavari, Wainganga, Wardha and Krishna-Venva rivers, in the present-day states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, central India. Today, the exact source of the so-called "lost mines of Golconda" are unknown, and India's only remaining diamond source is the Majhgawan pipe near Panna.
Millions of years of erosion caused by rainfall and snow-melt unearthed the diamonds from their kimberlite tomb, washing them downstream to their final resting place within the shallow alluvial river gravels of India's Golconda region.
The term "Golconda diamond" is still used today as an indicator of very high-quality diamonds. To justify the "Golconda" name, diamonds must have a level of transparency and quality found only in rare, chemically/optically pure type-IIa natural diamonds.

The term "Golconda" is also used as a generic term to describe higher quality diamonds with an antique cut.