Glass explores the earliest history and newest collection of diamond masters De Beers

All that glitters – Glass explores the earliest history and newest collection of diamond masters De Beers

Could any stone typify the magic of nature quite like a diamond? These rare gems were formed from pressurised carbon in the depths of the earth nearly a billion years ago. Originating from the Greek word adámas, meaning‚ “unconquerable”, diamonds are highly prized by the worlds of luxury and industry alike for their natural durability and brilliance.

De Beers recognise the fact that each diamond is unique in character and brilliance and have become a leading fine jewellery house thanks to their intimate knowledge of these gems  – and unlike other houses, De Beers do not work with any other stone. They also go beyond the famous 4s and hand-select each diamond according to its unique beauty and ability to capture Fire, Life, and Brilliance. But you don’t just need to take their word for it. De Beers are the only house which uses technology to show the perfection of their diamonds and actively encourage their customers to test them. By using an in-store device called the Iris, which magnifies the diamond while shining light onto it and slowly rotating it, the customer can see for themselves the quality of the gem by how symmetrically the light is reflected ‚Äì and effectively see what is usually only visible to the experts.

De Beers are equally concerned with the origins of their diamonds as well as the quality and as such each gem comes with its own Certificate of Authenticity as a guarantee that the diamond is natural, untreated, conflict-free and responsibly sourced and crafted. Also, each diamond above 0.20 carats is microscopically branded with the De Beers Marque and a serial number using a unique technique. This is invisible to the naked eye but is further proof of the diamond’s origins and authenticity.

But once you have sourced such exquisite diamonds what to do with them? Give them of course to only the most skilled craftsmen and women to transform them into works of art.

The artisans at De Beers diamond jewellers have created countless iconic collections since the company launched in 2001. From the delicate Wildflowers collection to the rustic Talisman series  which innovatively combines polished and unpolished diamonds in a range of rare colours – the ingenuity and intuitive application of the stones is mesmerising.

With its latest high jewellery collection, Phenomena, De Beers took inspiration from the wonders of the natural world, in particular the creations of water. For centuries, poets have compared diamonds and water as synonyms for beauty and purity. The Phenomena collection explores the rich diversity of water in its many forms and its magnificent power to create and destroy – like all natural phenomena, and much like diamonds, it has the ability to be both delicate and strong.

Each piece mirrors the contour and inherently delicate power of water-formed creations. Artisans at De Beers have attempted to capture and translate the dramatic elegance of water into jewellery through the use of individually chosen diamonds with deliberately select cuts and innovative techniques appropriate for each source of inspiration. Indeed, there is a realism to each piece with a literal play on the shapes and feel of water, from the clarity of the Baguette and Princess Cut diamonds that give shape to the Glacier pieces to the innate sparkle of the Round Brilliant diamonds forming the Stream pieces within the collection. Frost, one of the five parts of the Phenomena collection, celebrates the silent elegance of an early winter frost. The Reef necklace was inspired by the delicate life and flexibility of the coral reefs connected in an 8.49 carat Pear-cut diamond.

Among the most beautiful pieces in the collection, Stream, the fourth part of the collection, honours the calm motion of a mountain river changing pace as it flows from place to place and emulates the increasing power of a stream through gradations of round Brilliant diamonds, coming together in three stunning pear drops totalling 7.19 carats.

This new Phenomena High Jewellery collection demonstrates the nature of haute jewellery as art in its delicate refinement. In celebrating the power and beauty of the natural world De Beers reminds us both of the exquisiteness of nature but also of the sheer aesthetic pleasure of jewellery as art to be worn yet also treasured as a phenomenon of human craft.

by Jessica Quillin

Taken from the Glass Archive – Issue Fifteen – Ambition

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Glass Fashion Features Editor

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