Please welcome author Elaine Cantrell to The West Corner!
Ladies, I know some of you may not like to wear jewelry, but I do. Here are a couple of famous diamonds that I think are lovely.
This is the largest gem diamond ever discovered. It weighed about 3,106 carats in rough form when it was found in 1905 at the Premier mine in Transvaal, South Africa. It was named for Sir Thomas Cullinan, who discovered the mine. The Transvaal government bought it and presented it to Britain’s King Edward VII. It was cut into 9 large stones and about 100 smaller ones, all flawless. They are now part of the British crown jewels. The picture is off the Great Star of Africa, one of the diamonds cut from the Cullinan.
This 300 carat bluish-green diamond was found in India. It now belongs to the Russian Diamond Treasury. People say that it was once used as the eye in a statue of Vishnu in a temple in Sriangam.It was stolen by a French deserter in the 1700’s. He sold it to an English sea captain who took it to Europe. Eventually it ended up in Amsterdam where Grigori Orloff, one of Catherine the Great’s former lovers, bought it and presented it to Catherine. She took the diamond but not Grigori.
The Centenary Diamond
This diamond is 273.85 carats. It was discovered at the Premiere Mine in 1986. It took three years for master diamond-cutters to transform it into the world’s largest, most modern-cut, top color, flawless diamond.
Lots of people are interested in pink diamonds now so I thought I’d include the Darya-ye-Noor, the largest pink diamond in the world. The name means Sea of Light in Persian. The jewel’s pale pink color is among the rarest found in diamonds. It is now a part of the Iranian crown jewels.
So, what about you? Do you love diamonds? My heroine Aimee in my latest release Fortuna loves diamonds, but she hates the engagement ring Rocky gave her. Here’s an excerpt from the book.
June got their coffee and pulled a piece of paper out of a big red notebook on the baker’s rack in the kitchen. “The design of your engagement ring interested me, Aimee, so I did a little research for you.”
Aimee flexed her finger. She didn’t like the ring and never had. Diamonds were supposed to sparkle, but this one didn’t. If only Rocky had bought the ring she’d seen at the mall several months ago. Now that ring sparkled and glowed with exquisite fire. It had a square diamond set up high in a yellow gold band with channel-set diamonds radiating from the center diamond down the shaft. No, she didn’t like her ring, but June looked positively pea green with envy over it.
“What did you find out?” Rocky asked as he seated himself at the kitchen table. “It’s an antique, right?”
His eyes gleamed with interest. How strange. He’d never shown any interest in antiques before, especially antique jewelry.
June passed the paper she’d pulled from her notebook to Rocky. “If the ring isn’t a copy, and I don’t think it is, you have an eighteenth-century piece worth about ten thousand dollars.”
Rocky’s jaw dropped. “Are you joking?”
“No, sir, I’m not. In the eighteenth century most people couldn’t have afforded such a large stone, so I’m guessing it belonged to a wealthy woman, maybe even someone from the nobility.”
The awed tone in June’s voice made Aimee smile as she spooned a little more sugar into her coffee. Coffee was a fine vehicle for drinking cream and sugar. “Rose cuts are relatively crude, right? So why would anyone pay ten thousand dollars for it?”
June’s lips tightened. “For the historical value, of course. Not many eighteenth-century pieces survived intact. People who lived back then often wanted the latest fashion in jewelry, so they would melt down the gold and reset the stone. Sometimes they even re-cut the gems.” She fixed a gimlet eye on Aimee. “Rose-cut diamonds don’t sparkle like the brilliant cuts we use today because they were meant to be seen in candlelight. Eighteenth-century jewelers put foil underneath the diamond so it would reflect the flickering candles. You are the conservator of a piece of history. I hope you appreciate it and give it the care it deserves.”
Fortuna is sold at Amazon and most other online retail outlets.
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Thanks so much for having me today.