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Jewelry Chronicles

As purveyors of fine antique and estate jewelry, we at Howard’s Diamond Center are fortunate to see a variety of antique cut diamonds. Two of our favorites are Old Mine Cuts and Old European Cuts. In this article, we will discuss the history, development, similarities, and differences between these two antique cuts of diamonds.
Knowing exactly where pearls came from is a little challenging since they were discovered long before any history was written about them. However, we do know that they have been worn as a formal type of jewelry for millennia due to the fragment of a pearl that was found lying in a sarcophagus by a Persian princess who dates all the way back to 420 BC. This artifact is now stored and can be viewed at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The Koh-i-Noor diamond is undoubtedly the most famous in the world despite not being the largest or most valuable. The diamond is famous because of its illustrious and somewhat infamous past that weaves history, myth, and lore into the most compelling story of any diamond.
You have probably seen James Cameron's extraordinary motion picture "Titanic" that tells the true story of the most majestic cruise ship ever built on its first and final voyage across the Atlantic. The lead characters are Rose and Jack who are fictional characters set among a backdrop of actual passengers, such as the Unsinkable Molly Brown, John Jacob Astor IV, and Benjamin Guggenheim.
You probably already know that bees are critically important pollinators responsible for pollinating a remarkable 80% of all flowering plants and 75% of all fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown in the United States.  Of the approximate 4000 bee species in North America, it is the hive forming domesticated honeybee that collects sugary nectar and converts it to honey to be stored as a food source for the colony and the Queen when the weather turns cold.  Hives are the epitome of organization with the Queen, drones, and worker bees each having designated chores and responsibilities that keep the colony alive and well.
Rare.  Luminous.  Scintillating.  Dazzling.  Who among us has not been mesmerized by the sight of a beautiful diamond or captivated by its natural history?  Diamond crystals form deep within the Earth and are brought to the planet’s surface by long extinct, and equally rare, volcanoes.  Upon close examination by a trained eye, these billion year old stones can be distinguished by their unusual luster (almost greasy like appearance).  But to the untrained eye, rough diamonds appear unassuming, unremarkable, and indistinguishable from ordinary pebbles.  It is only the faceting that brings these seemingly ordinary stones to life with an explosion of light and color.  And it is the diamond cutter’s knowledge of optics, mineralogy, and geometry that allows for the transformation of these pebbles into faceted diamonds.  However,  it is the Master diamond cutter’s artistry, experience, and intuition that turns faceted diamonds into gemstones worthy of the ages. 
Judith Leiber (1921-2018) was a Hungarian-American fashion designer known around the world for her artistic minaudieres, small evening bags made of a metal shell and adorned with crystals.  However, it is her personal life that outshines even the richness, drama, and effervescence of her artistic creations.