One of the most interesting diamonds in the world, and perhaps one of the most beautiful, the Shah diamond does not sparkle or twinkle, but rather is a table cut diamond (flat, bar shaped), with three cleavage faces and one faceted face. Its most intriguing characteristic is that three of the faces of the diamond […]

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Silver in Ireland has a very long history, extending back to ancient times. The Balline Hoard is a collection of silver ingots and chopped up fine silver tableware, discovered in 1940 in a gravel pit at Balline, Co. Limerick. The pieces, 4 silver ingots and 3 pieces of silver plate, date from the 4th century […]

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The Niarchos Diamond is named after its last known owner, Greek shipping magnate Niarchos Stavros Niarchos (brother-in-law to Aristotle Onassis), who purchased the diamond from Harry Winston in 1958 for two million dollars and presented it to his wife Charlotte Ford. It is a 128 carat pear shape diamond, thought to be D colour and at […]

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What does cut mean Diamond cut has two meanings; the first is the general shape, such as round cut, emerald cut, marquise cut, etc. The second, about which we are talking today, is how well the cut has been executed. There is a cut grading scale used on many certificates, which normally goes Excellent/Very Good/Good/Fair/Poor; […]

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The Colenso Diamond is an uncut octahedral 133 carat diamond, found in South Africa in 1883, (most likely in the De Beers mine). It was one of the earliest notable large diamonds found there. The story of how it was found is most tragic; a storekeeper South Africa left his shop and went into the […]

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One of the great pleasures of a fine piece of jewellery is admiring the skill and craft of the maker; in addition to wonderful gemstones, the best jewellery has as much care and attention paid to the base and underside as to the top of the piece. Van Cleef & Arpels is a French jewellery […]

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A Rose Cut diamond is an antique cut, dating back to the early 1500s; it has a flat bottom and a faceted crown. Typically, the flat bottom is a cleavage plain, and the crown is cut with triangular facets rising to a point. They normally have 3 or 6 way symmetry; an optical effect of […]

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Diamond set figurines from the Continent are among the rarest pieces of jewellery known to exist, typically German or Austrian and made with a surprisingly wide variety of diamond cuts. Some were badges of the order of St Michael, an order established in 1469 by Louis XI to rival the Order of the Golden Fleece […]

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A rather magical part of the antiques world is the connection that pieces can have to people and events of the past, and jewellery is no exception. Some pieces can have greatly changed the world around them, perhaps never more so than in the “Affair of the Necklace”, which was one of the events that […]

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During the invasion of Spain in the early 1800s, the King of Spain, Charles IV, knew that Napoleon’s march on Madrid was not going to be stopped. So, for security, he had the Crown Jewels of Spain and a priceless collection of clocks walled up in two of the 365 rooms of the Royal Palace […]

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