When we think of royal festivities, images of tiaras and diamonds frequently come to mind. And of course the British monarchy has a legendary collection. Do we think Kate will wear one of the royal family’s tiaras at her wedding? They have a treasure trove of tiaras that have been passed down from generation to generation – in fact Queen Elizabeth II is said to have the largest and most valuable collection of tiaras in the world. Tiaras are worn not only for weddings but for other important occasions like state visits, and are an essential part of the royal wardrobe. And although I can’t imagine Kate wearing one very often, her wedding day offers the perfect opportunity to choose something from the arsenal of jewels at her disposal!
Last week I was invited to the beautiful De Beers store on Fifth Avenue for a cocktail party celebrating the relaunch of their website. What a fabulous experience that was! Not only was there an eyeful of spectacular diamond jewelry to view (and to try on) but so much to learn about this estimable yet forward thinking brand. There has been much banter about heritage these days but De Beers truly has one spanning the past 120 years. In fact, De Beers was the first to really position the diamond as a symbol of true and everlasting love. Their iconic advertising slogan, A Diamond is Forever, was actually penned in 1947! Here are some of the early ads from the 1950s.
They were also the first to introduce the 4Cs of diamond assessment (carat, clarity, color, cut) in 1939. De Beers cares about all the C’s but the difference really lies in the cut and this is where they excel – discerning the most magnificently cut diamonds in the world – those that add fire, life and brilliance to their designs.
“We define the difference in our diamonds through the three elements of Fire, Life and Brilliance that each De Beers selected diamond must possess: Fire is the dispersion of light into the colours of the rainbow; Life is the flash of light, the sparkle and the scintillation when a perfectly cut diamond is moved; Brilliance is the natural transparency and brightness, the soul of the diamond.”
But as I learned, De Beers goes far beyond others in choosing diamonds exclusive enough for their jewelry. All De Beers diamonds are of course conflict-free and only 5% of the diamonds they look at qualify to be included in their creations. One of the most fascinating technological developments that De Beers employs is called Iris and the demonstration was riveting.
Even if a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) report shows two diamonds with the same excellent ratings, Iris can ferret out their inner magic, determining which will result in the more brilliant stone. Looking at a diamond through Iris’ proprietary technology, even a lay eye can instantly see the difference. Take a look at the example below of twin stones (those with identical GIA reports) and you can see which De Beers chose on the basis of Iris.
This was not the only amazing technology presented during the evening. De Beers has developed another propriety process by which all their diamonds above 0.20 carat are microscopically “engraved” with the De Beers Marque. Invisible to the eye, a serial number is somehow etched within the stone and registered with the De Beers system, which can only be read by this machine.
This does not affect the stone in any way except to ensure its authenticity. Each piece of jewelry is accompanied by a De Beers Passport which documents every aspect of the piece including the assigned Marque.
If you should ever lose your documentation and need it for insurance or any other purpose, all you need do is bring your jewel to any De Beers store and the Marquee will instantly identify every aspect of your piece. In addition, if you are ever lucky enough to want to upgrade, you will receive credit in full for your original purchase, whose attributes can be determined through its Marquee, to be applied to your new selection.
The store looked magnificent that evening. Beautiful floral arrangements abounded enhancing the handsomely designed space. Spectacular designs were modeled.
And we even were allowed to try things on. I rather liked this $100,000+ necklace. Not only was it spectacularly beautiful, but comfortable and light. I have a big anniversary this year – what do you think?
There was truly something for everyone. From perfect small yet beautifully set diamond studs to innovative modern designs and dazzling classics, you can be sure that only the best materials, stones and craftsmanship were employed. Take a look at just a few, starting with the charming Lily Stud earrings.
The now famous Talisman pendant.
Enchanted Lotus Sleeper Earrings
The Atea Pendant, especially lovely and wearable in real life!!
To some of the more spectacular creations like these from the Arpeggia Collection
I encourage you to take a look at their fabulous new site. Whether you are in the market for a new bauble or just oggling, I think you’ll enjoy your visit.
27 thoughts on “Best of Bling”
WOW! You have made it, girl! Trying on some major sparkle….so, are they really our best friends? What a fabulous experience and such interesting info about De Beers’ diamonds. They selected the right person to invite, you do such a wonderful job reporting back to your readers. Great post!
I’d like both from the Arpeggio Collection. Please feel free to mail straight to my home address. You KNOW how dear I think you are, right? Ok, thanks!
Oops. Arpeggia, not Arpeggio.
I was blinded by the diamonds ;)
So much sparkle! A fabulous event, beautiful diamonds and a terrific post, and especially timely with the focus on the Royal Wedding. I do wonder what jewels Kate will be wearing, not to mention the rest of the crowd. Looking forward to seeing your take on wedding coverage this week. You’re off to a great start.
PS: I’ll take the Arpeggia bracelet, please! XO
Love everything and as usual I learned something to boot! Substance to the bling! That is one of the many reasons why I love this blog. :)
I saw a thing or two I would be happy to take home in my goodie bag…lol. Specifically that multi teired cuff in gold up there….love it. Fabulous…..interesting and looks like a glamorous night learning about one heck of a glamorous subject…diamonds!
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend (and so is her husband if he buys her some!) Love the necklace you tried on and the fact that though the pieces look substantial, they’re not that heavy!
So interesting! And of course I want jewels now too! And I have a big birthday coming up! Hint! Hint!
WOW! Trying on that necklace would be pure torture for me!:) Love the upgrade idea, will need to mention that one to the hubs…
I have to say that tiara worn by the Queen is really fabulous. I saw an article about all the British owned head pieces and this one has always been my favorite. To me it looks so timeless yet contemporary. She wears it well.
Ah, the Arpeggia cuff is luscious!
Oh — I do love a gorgeous diamond piece. I believe the bracelet is my favorite that you’ve featured.
I hope Kate wears a tiara!! You’re so right — her wedding is the perfect occasion.
Beautiful start to Royal Week! I love the spiral necklace and, the 1950s paintings in the bottom-two ads for De Beers! The Atea Pendant is a wonderful design… I love circles! ; )
I think you definitely deserve that necklace for your anniversary!
DeBeers is certainly a company with a ton of marketing savvy. After reading a few articles about them, I was left with mixed feelings about them. I do still love diamonds though!
Chic ‘n Cheap Living
The romance and dreams of jewels .. the Queen is grand but our own Elizabeth Taylor knew how to wear them!!
I am afraid my studio will suffice for all the diamonds, but whoever said that “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” was right! My studio will be my gem of a space! Off to gander at the site, neck craned….
My vote is for the Atea Pendant — beautiful!
What an utterly fabulous post, the timing is magnificent, not to mention the sparklies! As always, I learn quite a bit from while also getting to peruse the eye candy you share, the vintage ads are just so wonderful.
I do hope the bride opts for a tiara as opposed to flowers in her hair!
Did someone say Diamonds?! A girl can never have enough…and I am definitely hoping Kate takes advantage of the royal treasure chest. And, that your husband splurges for your anniversary!
There is something about the word “bling” and seeing a picture of the Queen that makes me laugh. What a fun post! xx
Major sigh…HOW beautiful is their work? Great information. I mentioned your wonderful wine advice in my latest post from Paris.
That is some kind of tiara the Queen Mother is wearing. I love the lotus earrings, so beautiful. Your neck looks great in $100K necklace you should ask for it the worst your husband could say is no.
Love this post. I learned so much about De Beers. Loved those vintage ads. I am getting excited about the royal wedding!
O.K., you officially just crack me up! I am expecting that you are going to entertain us next by getting a “casual” invitation to the Royal Wedding in London and telling us all about it. I will be all ears in anticipation. Great post!
I often wondered how just the name De Beers came to be. I didn’t know if it was clever marketing with “Beer” in it for guys (kidding ;) I just got my first pair of diamond earrings for Christmas and boy it was a process! I can totally relate to this post. Yes, they are forever and even more important is clearly remember the moments when we get them, wear them and truly give them their shining moment that their were created for. Beautiful. I personally would hope to see a tiara on Kate!! XO, Kelly
Kate might just wear a tiara:-). It must have been difficult to take the necklace off, wasn’t it? It’s stunning, you might get lucky on your anniversary. My husband would have thought that i had lost my mind based on the price:-).
Lovely reporting! I will be happy to call your husband about that bauble you liked so well. It suits you to a tee!
I think you deserve a little (or lot) of bling for your anniversary..
gorgeous pieces…works of art in their own right…