The Duke of Devonshire Emerald

The Duke of Devonshire Emerald

The Duke of Devonshire Emerald is one of the largest and most famous uncut emeralds in the world, weighing an incredible 1383 carats. It is in the collection of the British Natural History Museum. It is a hexagonal crystal, approx 5cm by 5cm. It was discovered in the...

The Golden Jubilee Diamond

The largest faceted diamond in the world, at 545 carats, the Golden Jubilee outweighs even the historic Cullinan I diamond by 15 carats, but, surprisingly, is not terribly famous, despite its size and importance. It was discovered in 1985, in the Premier Mine in South...

Jewellery Eras

Oftentimes it can be hard to place the exact age of a piece of jewellery, as styles evolved slowly and organically over time. In a world without mass media, the diffusion and mixing of ideas and patterns was a slow and irregular process. Nonetheless, we can divide...

Jewellery History through Art

Perhaps the most fun and interesting ways we can age and date very old jewellery is through artwork. Almost always signed, we can normally tell exactly which year a piece of art was painted in, unlike jewellery which is rarely signed or dated! It’s also...

Antique Ring Restoration

An interesting recent project was a restoration of a sapphire and diamond three stone ring; over 100 years old, the claws had worn away, and the sapphire had become scratched. Although sapphires are exceptionally strong and tough, over a lifetime they can become...

The Cullinan Diamond Brooches

The Cullian III and Cullinan IV are the third and fourth largest stones cut from the largest diamond ever found, the 3,106 carat Cullinan Diamond. (The largest diamond produced from it is The Star of Africa). Cullinan III is a 94 carat pear shape diamond and Cullinan...

The Dresden Green Diamond

The Dresden Green Diamond is one of the rarest diamonds in the world, both in terms of its characteristics and of its provenance. Perhaps only the Hope Diamond can match its wonderfully documented history. It is a modified pear shape brilliant cut diamond weighing...

Henry D Morse

Henry Morse (1826-1888) was a famous diamond cutter in Boston, who was responsible for major advancements in the science and skill of diamond cutting. He was taught by Dutch specialists, and although originally interested in cutting the largest diamond, he quickly...

The Shah Jahan Diamond

The Shah Jahan diamond is a 56 carat table cut diamond, flat in general shape, perhaps (probably?) originally a cleavage piece that had been faceted. It is two inches long, but only one-eighth of an inch thick. It has two drill holes, to allow wire or cord to be...

The Compass of the Vikings

Iolite is a precious gemstone form of cordierite, named after the French geologist Pierre Louis Cordier in 1813. It is a blue to violet colour, similar to Sapphire or Tanzanite. With a hardness of 7 to 7.5, it is softer than sapphire, but harder than tanzanite. Its...

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