Download PDF by Rachelle Bergstein: Brilliance and Fire: A Biography of Diamonds

By Rachelle Bergstein

ISBN-10: 0062323776

ISBN-13: 9780062323774

From the writer of Women from the Ankle Down comes a full of life cultural biography of diamonds, which explores our society’s obsession with the world’s so much significant gemstone and the real-world characters who lead them to shine.

“A diamond is forever.” Who between us doesn’t realize this word and, with it, the fascination that those glossy gems carry in our collective mind's eye as symbols of royalty, stars, and everlasting love? yet who gave us this catchphrase? the place do those gems and their colourful legacies originate? How did they develop into our culture’s image of engagement and marriage? Why have they retained their coveted prestige in the course of the centuries?

Rachelle Bergstein’s cultural biography of the diamond illuminates the attractive, usually magnificent tale of our society’s enduring obsession with the toughest gemstone—and the folks who've labored tirelessly to make sure its endured attract. From the South African mines the place such a lot diamonds were sourced because the overdue Nineties to the firms who've fought to monopolize them; from the celebrities who've dazzled in them to the folk backstage who've conscientiously crafted our figuring out in their value—Brilliance and hearth offers a glittering heritage of the world’s such a lot coveted gemstone and its maximum champions and so much colourful enthusiasts.

Brilliance and Fire is illustrated with sixteen pages of colour photographs.

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Extra info for Brilliance and Fire: A Biography of Diamonds

Sample text

Maybe so, but Charles Tiffany and his colleagues understood that even if they were unmoved by the romantic lineage of the stones, the American tycoons and their socialite wives waiting in the shadows wouldn’t be quite so levelheaded. ’s hands so quickly that they never had to be shipped back to the States? ” No matter—those in the know kept their eyes peeled at the upcoming society affairs. Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer blew her cover when she wore lot 10—the four-strand diamond necklace—to a ball in Paris soon after the sale.

The South African prospectors followed the Vaal River and dug, washed, and sorted in the manner of their predecessors in India and Brazil. In the hottest weather, they braved burning winds that carried debris from the diggings, stuffing up their noses and stinging and inflaming their eyes. They stayed despite modest discoveries: about 30,000 English pounds’ worth of diamonds in 1870, which amounted to roughly 60 pounds per worker. ) Weak numbers, however, failed to deter the barrage of ambitious travelers who continued to trawl the riverbeds, and before the year was out, two diamond towns (Pneil and Klipdrift) and two diamond papers (the Diamond News and the Diamond Field) were founded.

Unknowingly, they destroyed real diamonds by smashing them with hammers, thinking the genuine stones would be indestructible. Yet here and there, through a system of trial and error, a digger would find a diamond, and that success sent a jolt of energy across the shores as run-down men felt their hopes renewed. Their methods were unsophisticated, yet they were similar to strategies used by successful miners in historic diamond locales. The South African prospectors followed the Vaal River and dug, washed, and sorted in the manner of their predecessors in India and Brazil.

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Brilliance and Fire: A Biography of Diamonds by Rachelle Bergstein

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