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History of diamonds

The first diamonds were found in the Golconda River alluvium in India, but the exact time of discovery is not known. In a fragment of a tax book written in Sanskrit dating back to the 4th century BC, there are records, that prove, that diamond was a commodity, which was commonly traded in India at this time. In the possession of rulers and rich people, they were kept in the rough and the perfectly beautiful crystals were highly prized. The diamond enjoyed great popularity as a talisman because of its exceptional hardness and other excellent properties. It was a symbol of courage and virility - qualities of men.

Egypt and the vein of loveThe mystical power of diamonds was discovered in ancient Egypt, where wearing a diamond on four fingers of the left hand was supposed to ensure that the vena amoris ("vein of love") would lead from the fingers directly to the heart. The placement of diamonds and also diamond dust on the fingertips was supposed to guarantee a direct path to the connection of love with eternity.

The first diamonds in EuropeDiamonds were probably first brought to Europe by Alexander the Great. At first, they were considered mysterious rarity, attributed with magical and healing properties. It is said that when Alexander the Great arrived at the Valley of Diamonds, he saw its floor littered with precious stones, guarded by giant snakes with murderous stares. But Alexander tricked the snakes and took their diamonds.

GreeceIn ancient Greece, people considered diamonds to be "the tears of the gods that fell to the earth". To emphasize the hardness of the diamond, they called it "adamas", invincible. 60 years before Christ, Plinius wrote about diamonds in his Natural History. The first uncut diamond appeared in Rome between the 1st and 3rd centuries.

Diamond marketsIn the 13th century, Marco Polo mentions Ormuy as the main Persian diamond market. At this time, Venice was the main market and centre for diamonds in the West. From the beginning of the 13th century, most of the major cities of Europe maintained trade with them. Silk and diamond traders came from there to Bruges. Bruges became not only the centre of the diamond trade, but also the place where diamonds were processed. The diamond industry soon grew enormously. Bruges-born Lodewijck van Berken, the inventor of diamond cutting, also contributed to this.

Diamond cuttingThe diamond cutting process was kept secret for a long time. Until the 14th century clear octahedrons were polished on a pad of wood or copper covered with diamond dust. This method had been used earlier for working other precious stones and ivory. In the case of diamonds, however, it was a very lengthy process. From the 15th century, working techniques were improved and the irregular crystals began to be cut by cleaving. However, the cutting process still respected the shape of the original rough. The pyramid-shaped stones were set in rings. The main purpose of the cutting was to rid the diamond of surface irregularities and blemishes. Samples of such stones have been found in fragments of jewellery and old pottery. The invention of cutting on a steel pad covered with diamond dust gave cutters more options for working the stones: at the end of the 15th century, 'table' cuts in the shapes of a diamond, square, rectangle or rosette appeared.

Symbol of the eternal bondThe discovery of a direct route to India in 1498 by the seafarer Vasco de Gama moved the centre of trade from Venice to Lisbon. From the end of the 14th century, Antwerp became the world centre of the diamond trade. The diamond is the perfect symbol of the eternal bond. This tradition of endless love has been maintained for centuries.

The first diamond in an engagement ringThe first mention of the gift of a diamond as a unique symbol of love dates back to the 15th century. The tradition of giving a diamond ring as an engagement gift began in 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy. Since then, the tradition of diamond engagement rings has spread around the world from aristocratic families to the families of industrialists and, in the last century, to the families of "ordinary mortals".

16th - 19th centuryIn the golden age of the 16th century, the diamond trade was mainly in the hands of Portuguese Jews and Italian merchants.  

In the 17th century, the era of cutting a variety of shapes began. Diamonds were cut as ovals, drops, marquises and others. However, the craftsmen working on diamonds came from Antwerp and worked on the top floors of houses where the light was best.

By the end of the 18th century, the Indian mines had been exploited, but despite the discovery of the first mines in Brazil in the second half of the 18th century, Antwerp's prosperity was not restored.

In the second half of the 19th century, after extensive experimentation, Henry Morse in the USA came up with the first modern brilliant cut, which he later improved. It was mathematically justified and described in 1919 in the USA by Marcel Tolkowskiy, now considered the inventor of the modern brilliant cut.

  

The first diamond cartel De BeersIn 1871, the De Beers brothers, owners of a small farm in Kimberley, gave permission to Dutch diamond hunters to explore their land. It emerged that diamonds were everywhere. The news spread like wildfire and the farm was besieged by treasure hunters.

Fri, 15 October 2021

The world's most interesting diamonds

Some diamonds are world famous now for their incredible history, tradition and staggering size. Meet the ones that are capturing the attention not only of the past, but also of the present.

De Beers Millennium StarLet´s imagine a diamond so flawless and so huge that none of the world's experts can put a price on it. The De Beers Millennium Star is just that. It was found in the early 1980s at the De Beers mine in the Congo. It took over three years for cutters to shape the stone using lasers. Then the world's most unique, internally and externally sparkling 203ct pear-cut diamond was revealed. Harry Oppenheimer, a diamond industry icon, described the De Beers Millennium Star as "the most beautiful diamond he had ever seen". This diamond was unveiled as the centerpiece of the De Beers Millennium Diamond Collection. The complete collection includes equally unique deep blue diamonds weighing a total of 118 carats, as well as the 27ct Heart of Eternity. This collection was exhibited in 2000 at London's Millennium Dome.

HopeThe most famous colored diamond is Hope. 45,52 ct blue diamond. It was brought from India, where it was found, by Jean Baptiste Tavernier in 1642. He sold it to King Louis XIV in 1668 for a fat profit, but soon spent it to pay off his son's huge debt. Tavernier then went to India in the hope of making up for his loss, but lost his life there when he was killed by a pack of wild dogs. The king named the gem the Blue Diamond of the Crown and for the next 118 years it was kept in the French Crown Jewels. In 1792, it was stolen during the French Revolution. Years later, it was found in Amsterdam, where it was commissioned to be re-cut by the Wilhelm Fals firm. Fals' son stole the stone, and his father died due to failing health, mental exhaustion and grief. The son apparently realised what he had done and committed suicide. In 1830, the diamond was acquired by a very wealthy banker, Henry Hope, and the cursed gem has had his name from this time. One of his descendants, Lord Francis Hope, found himself nearly bankrupt, his wife blaming the diamond for the break-up of their marriage. The new buyer, French broker Jacques Colot, went mad and committed suicide, and the next two owners were murdered. The Sultan of Turkey, who bought the gem for $400,000 in 1908, stabbed his wife and was overthrown not long after the bought. And the entire family of Edward McLean has been plagued by calamities since 1911, when he acquired the ill-fated diamond. It is said that the only way to be free from the power of the object of misfortune is to donate it. That is why it is interesting to note that the only person who was not struck by any calamity when Hope's diamond was acquired was the American jeweller Harry Winston. He bought the diamond from the McLean family and donated it to the Smithsonian Institution, where it remains to this day as a mineralogical wonder.

CentenaryIt was discovered in July 1988 at De Beers' Premier mine. In its rough form it weighed 599.10 ct. Master cutter Gabi Tolkowski and his group of assistants worked on it for almost 3 years to finally cut the world's largest diamond, which has a state-of-the-art cut, high colour and is free of inclusions. Its weight after cutting is 273.85 ct and it has 247 facets. It was deposited in the Tower of London in May 1991.

Star of South AfricaThe rough diamond (weighing 83.5 ct) was found by an Aboriginal herdsman near Griquatown in 1869. The discovery of this diamond started a diamond rush and hundreds of thousands of prospectors flooded the area. The herdsman traded the diamond to a farmer for 500 sheep, 10 oxen and 1 horse. The diamond weighed 47.69 ct after being cut into a brilliant teardrop and its last achieved price at the sale was a staggering £225,000. At present, the stone's whereabouts are unknown, but from time to time there are photographs safely proving that it is still in circulation.

CullinanIn 1905, the largest diamond in the world to date was found in De Beers' Premier Mine. In the rough it weighed 3106 ct and the proportions of the crystal were approximately 10 x 6 x 5 cm. The size could be compared to a larger grapefruit. The diamond was named Cullinan in honour of the mine's founder, Sir Thomas Cullinan. The rough diamond was purchased by the Transvaal government for a price of about one million dolars and presented to King Edward VII of England. The King had the stone cut in Amsterdam, and the cutter split the stone into two smaller stones, Cullinan I and Cullinan II. The larger Cullinan I was renamed the Great Star of South Africa and it weighs 530.20 ct, while Cullinan II weighs 317.5 ct. Both stones are part of the English crown jewels.

Koh-i-noorKoh-i-noor is the stone that is perhaps most shrouded in legend. It is not known when it first appeared. Some stories and legends say two that it was thousand years ago, others date the first mention to 1304. For two centuries, it was in the treasure trove of great moguls. Then the Shah of Persia, Nadir, took possession of it. After his assassination, the Afghans got their hands on the stone, then the Sikhs, and in the mid-19th century, the British. It became the property of the East India Company, who presented it to Queen Victoria. The queen had the stone re-cut a second time (the size was reduced from 186 carats to the current 108.93 carats), and left it to the wife (or husband) of the British monarch. In 1936, Queen Elizabeth (wife of George VI) had the Koh-i-noor set in her crown.

Taylor - BurtonIn 1969, this 69.42 ct drop-shaped stone was sold in auction. The new owner was Cartier of New York, who immediately named it Cartier. However, the very next day it was bought by the American actor Richard Burton for his equally famous wife Elizabeth Taylor. Thus the diamond was renamed Taylor-Burton. It made its debut at a charity ball held in Monaco in mid-November, where Taylor wore it as a pendant around her neck. However, in 1978, the American actress announced that she offered the stone for sale and she would donate part of the proceeds to the construction of a hospital in Botswana. A potential buyer had to pay $2,500 just to inspect it. In July 1979, the diamond was finally sold for $3 million. The last news of it came from Saudi Arabia.

De Beers DiamondNot long after the De Beers Corporation was founded in 1888, their first big discovery came. The stone, which weighing 428.5 carats, was a deep yellow colour, and immediately after cutting it, De Beers presented it at the 1889 World's Fair in Paris. A fascinated crowd flocked to see the 228.5-carat gem, the largest cut diamond in the world at that time. Although many more beautiful diamonds have been found since then, the De Beers Diamond still holds the fourth largest cut diamond in the world.

Fri, 15 October 2021

Beautiful jewellery of famous celebrity

Social events literally call for the grandeur of a diamond, and celebrities are an example of what a "big night out" should look like. But for many of them, diamond jewels have become more than just an occasion to wear to an important event; the sparkle of diamonds has become part of their image. Let's take a look around the world to see who is inherently associated with diamonds.

Marilyn Monroe"Diamonds are a girl's best friend", sings Marilyn Monroe in film made in 1953  - "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". On the red carpet, the actress flashed a beautiful diamond necklace, which was auctioned by Christie's in 2018. The estimated price of the jewel was 11.6 - 17.3 million crowns. This necklace also included a diamond called the "Moon of Baroda", which was also worn by Maria Theresa.

Princess DianaShe is famous for her refined fashion sense, but she had the same taste in jewellery. Every piece of her jewellery was perfect, she wasn't afraid of combinations that other women would respect, but the result was always pleasing to the eye. Princess Diana and her taste for fashion and jewellery would make for a series of books in itself. She liked pearls, diamonds and coloured gemstones. The Princess chose from extensive collections of diamond sets, that were given to her as gifts or on loan from the Queen, but she also wore unique archival jewels from the Spencer family's heritage. All of her jewellery, including her 12ct sapphire engagement ring, lives on and is in the hands of her daughters-in-law.

Paulina Vega, Miss Universe 2014Colombian television presenter, model and beauty queen who won the Miss Universe title in 2014. Her photographs have travelled the world and you definetly know her with her majestic crown, which is dominated by five large topaz stones, 198 sapphires, 311 diamonds and 33 translucent Czech crystals. And it is not secret that this particular crown was made by D.I.C. It wasn't the only time you could see the most beautiful woman in the world in D.I.C. jewellery. The winner also visited our showrooms and was captured by more than one camera beaming with jewellery from the collections.

Alena ŠeredováDiamond jewellery is also often a nice part of fashion shows and one of such shows is undoubtedly the Natali Ruden show in 2015, where model, actress and the second beauty queen of the Czech Republic from 1998 Andrea Veresova beautifully presented diamond jewellery from the D.I.C. collection. Alena Šeredová was also the face of D.I.C. in the past and became one of the icons of our diamond calendar. Beautiful women and diamonds go perfectly together.

Fri, 15 October 2021

Diamonds and jewellery, that have been passed down for generations

Diamonds have not always been only a symbol of wealth, abundance and beauty, but there are also an investment in security.
Diamonds hold 5-10% of the world's wealth and families around the world choose diamonds as the depositary of family wealth. The "family tradition of diamond ownership" has thus become a common term whose meaning and, above all, the security, it brings to life, is known by generations and future generations will wait for it.

Diamonds in the familyDiamond jewellery is widely available nowadays and therefore everyone can start this tradition, to a lesser or greater extent. Men often choose a gift for a woman (whether for an anniversary, Christmas, birthday, holiday...) in a portfolio of diamond jewelry, and they know, that such jewelry is not only an emotion, a beauty, but also a value that accumulates over time and will one day be passed on to the next generation. It is actually a hidden asset that is not visible to others but brings great security to life.

Even our grandmothers knew well that better than a new mobile phone that loses its value in a moment, it is better to give a diamond jewellery to our grandchildren, because the diamond in it keeps increasing in value in the long time, so it is stable security for the value that is embedded in it. Such a piece of jewellery is always an assurance for the rainy days, as you know you have "somewhere to reach", and it is a feeling with which important life moments can be completely transformed.

Don't look for gifts that are fugaciousPeople, who know well that a diamond is a stability security, that has been tested by history, would always advise a good friend before Christmas or other occasions, "Let´s buy a diamond!", and this is an advice, that will be signed on every day and not only at the moment of handing over a beautiful piece of jewellery.

You don't need millionsMany people live under the assumption, that they can only invest in diamonds with millions. This is not the case, although the richest in diamonds have millions, but anyone can start with a small sum in the tens of thousands. It is always about our mind set and also how we know how to handle money and think about the future. So when Christmas, a birthday, anniversary or other significant event is coming up and you are looking for the right gift, ask yourself what it will be worth in 10, 20 or 30 years. Because you can always choose a jewel that will reliably capture the magic of the moment and not only its emotion, but also its value will be eternal.

Mon, 04 October 2021

When and to whom can we give diamond jewellery?

Jewellery with diamonds are wonderful carriers of emotions. They can constantly remind us of the unique magic of the moment, which is often associated with a significant moment in our lives. But they don't have just beauty and emotional charge. Even our grandmothers knew well, that such jewellery is an investment, as it carries with it (in the form of gems and diamonds) its value forever.  And believe me, we can find many moments, that deserve to be celebrated with something as noble as a diamond, both in the calendar and in our journeys through life.

Celebrating partnership and loveCelebrations and ceremonies as weddings and engagements are inherently associated with a diamond ring. However, there are other occasions that we can use to conjure up  a moment, that is absolutely unique. There is for example an ANNIVERSARY, which is actually the "birthday" of our relationship and we celebrate it in the same way - every single year on a regular day, which literally encourages you to gradually assemble a beautiful diamond set for your partner, in which individual diamond jewels carry the same design elements (or even coloured gemstones), thus gradually adding another jewel to your wife's jewellery box year after year. Such a collection is then a great treasure that is passed down in families for generations, not only for its aesthetic value, but it is a great emotional value and of course the value that keeps increasing in diamonds. For men, cufflinks, a diamond pen or a luxury diamond watch are ideal gifts.

Birth of a childOne of the most significant moments in the life of a woman, a man and the child. A moment that calls for a real jewel and most often it is a ring set with a magnificent diamond. However, the choice also often falls on a coloured tanzanite gemstone, which seems to be made for this moment. Tanzanite glows a beautiful blue, which together with diamonds in jewellery creates the perfect spectacle, that few women can resist.

Celebrating the uniqueness of manHolidays and birthdays are a beautiful moment, that directly calls for a diamond. As the price level of diamond jewellery is very wide (for example, in our D.I.C. they are available from USD 120), jewellery becomes available to anyone and every such moment can be sealed with a diamond, even a holiday.

However, for those very significant moments, such as 18th birthdays or round anniversaries, there are jewels that reveal their importance at a glance.

Life MilestonesCompletion of studies, fulfillment of a personal goal, celebration of a work achievement, and any moment of "victory". A moment that will never be forgotten for its specialness. It is so beautiful when there is someone around us, who celebrate it with us with a diamond. But it can also be ourselves. Diamond jewellery is a truly beautiful gift, but we can also give ourselves, as all of these victories are our efforts, that need to be properly appreciated.

Diamonds are simply a gift, which you can give to a woman, a man, or even yourself. Its magnificence needs no further words and believe me, these jewels will radiate their message as soon as you open the gift box. And those are the moments we have never forgot...

Sun, 03 October 2021

How to choose the right engagement ring?

 A jewel, that every woman's heart desires to see. It is an engagement ring, that is given from pure love, accompanied by that magical question and the answer to which will shine our whole life. Why is a diamond significant at such a moment? That's what we're going to look at today.

A glimpse into history
For a long time, no difference was made as to whether a ring was an "engagement" (i.e., came with a proposal) or a "wedding" ring. In short, a ring spoke of the connection of two people. Already in ancient Egypt (3000 BC) the ring (i.e. the circle) was a symbol of eternity. This ring was worn on the ring finger of the left hand, from which, according to the Egyptians, a vein led directly to the heart, the symbol of love. In those times, the materials used to make rings were different. Reeds were used (in later times also bones or metals). The finger has remained the same to this day and its meaning is love and its forms for our lives - as many languages confirm (for example, in Indonesian the little finger is called "jari manis", which translates as "sweet finger").

 Why a diamond?A diamond was appeared in a wedding ring in 1477 for the first time. With a diamond ring in his hand, Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg proposed to Mary of Burgundy. Since then, the diamond has been associated with the ring for this special occasion and since diamonds have become a common part of the jewellery trade, jewellery with them and therefore engagement rings have been available to us all. However, few people suspect that the diamond in such jewellery has another meaning. For it is an expression and promise of a man's ability to take good care of his bride-to-be and their family together. It is therefore said that the value of such a diamond ring should be equal to or more than 3.5 times the man's monthly income. 

Engagement rings todayToday's age offers a huge variety of diamond rings, which are mostly created from gold or platinum. It is the rarity of the diamonds that determines the price of the jewelry, which is evaluated on 4 parameters. It is called "4c", which is CUT, COLOR, CARAT = weight and CLARITY = clarity of the diamond. There are also many 1ct (1 carat) diamond rings on the market, that are considered "investment diamonds". However, each piece of jewelry and diamond is a value, that is usually passed down through generations. Therefore, even such an engagement ring can be an opportunity to establish this family tradition.

How to choose?It is always a good idea to prepare a budget first - that is, how much you want to invest in such a piece of jewelry. According to this, you will know what category of ring and diamond you are looking for. Very nice rings are available from 450 USD, but the prices lead, in proportion to the value of the diamond, to "infinity".  Then you decide according to the design of the ring, and the men in the jewellery shop will be well advised by the salesman, who is already experienced and knows well, what suits which woman. But always listen to your heart first, because it is your heart that will say that beautiful sentence when handing over the jewellery.

  

What size should I choose?

It is whispered that if the engagement jewellery is smaller and the woman does not wear it, it is bad luck. That's why it's better to choose a piece of jewellery that's a little bigger if you don't know the exact size (downsizing a ring is a common and simple task with most jewellery).

Since it is clear that going to measure a woman's finger however unobtrusively is not an option, a good friend of the woman's can help, or conversely, your friend can ask your partner to go with him to choose a ring for his wife. This is one way to discreetly find out the exact size of the ring you are looking for.

We wish you to make the selection and the moment of handing it over a beautiful experience and remember that an engagement ring is not just an integral part, but a real jewel that expresses more than a thousand words.

Sat, 02 October 2021

Can't get the ring off your finger? TOP 5 working tips (not only) from our grandmothers!

Probably all of us have problem with the fact, that the ring does not take down from finger and no matter how hard we try, it stays in place. Today we give you some tips on how to make sure that both your finger and the jewel come out of it without any consequences. Whatever you try, remember NEVER DO IT BY FORCE - it will keep not only your jewelry, but also your finger safe.

1. Quickest first aidIt's tempting to wet your hand with saliva, but that also tempts most people to use their teeth, which can forever affect the design of your jewelry. Instead, use soap and water. Cold water is preferable, because if the finger is only slightly swollen, it helps with the swelling.

2. Hands up and cool down!If the finger is swollen, sometimes changing the position of the hand will help to drain fluid from the affected spot - the finger will go down a little and in a moment the problem is solved. A cold shower can do the same. However, if it is a larger swelling, or if it is caused by an accident, then this solution may be prompt - at such times, when the ring really needs to come off, it is best to ask a jeweller for removal, who will (unfortunately) pinch it with pliers. However, there is a solution to this too, as the ring can later be rejoined in a jewellers workshop and after your finger will be OK, you can continue to wear it. However, always have the new size measured after the finger is fully healed.

3. Dental flossPrepare about 1 m of dental floss. Thread it underneath between the ring and the skin, leaving about 10 cm in the palm of your hand (so you can catch it). Gradually wrap the rest of the floss around your finger in the direction from the ring to the nail, then tie it up so it doesn't come loose. With the end that is in the palm of your hand, slowly slide the ring away from your finger. If you twist the thread in the opposite direction to the way you wound it, you will get the ring off in a moment.

4. Slide and circular movementsThat's right! Using hair conditioner, petroleum jelly, hand cream, or even a medical ointment with disinfectant or antibiotics - that is, if you have an open wound around the ring, create a "slide" under the ring, on which you will move the ring gently and non-violently in a circular motion (back and forth in a semicircle), until it gradually comes off. However, never push, lest your finger swell even more.

5. Two extra handsSometimes one hand is not enough. When skin overhangs on the finger cause the skin to build up at the joint, it is not easy to pull the ring through. This is the situation, where one more hand can help by pulling the ring back towards your hand when it is just in front of the joint (while you are pulling the ring outwards).

When to find some help?

When the ring cannot be removed, the process can become an exercise worthy of a Zen master. So arm yourself with patience if you can't do it right away. If the ring really can't be removed by any method, you need to contact a professional - a jeweler, a medical emergency or the fire department, who handle such "interventions." When the swelling is extreme and the finger begins to change color, medical attention should be found immediately.

However, as we know, nothing comes "out of the blue", even the process of swelling or weight gain has its phases and if we are attentive, we can avoid such situations.

Fri, 01 October 2021

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