Diamonds & Brilliants
The King of Gemstones
No other gemstone shapes our perception of luxury as diamonds do. Their unique beauty and rarity made them the jewels of queens and emperors. Today, we largely associate diamonds with the well-known brilliant cut. But the fascination that has always been associated with diamonds is conveyed even more strongly by antique stones. Both the uniqueness of their cut and their proportions excite us, as well as their personal history and last but not least, their far warmer glow.
Diamonds first reached Europe in large quantities starting in the 14th century. Imported from distant India, their possession was long reserved for the richest and most powerful rulers. Famous stones like the Dresden Green, the Wittelsbach Diamond or the Koh-i-Noor bear witness to the esteem of crowned heads for diamonds and to the diversity of colours in which they are available. Yet diamonds only became more readily available when Brazil began to mine diamonds in 1825 and South Africa in 1867. Jewellery with diamonds now started to develop into the epitome of jewels desired by the wealthy bourgeoisie.
Cutting techniques were also developed around that time. The first diamonds were initially left in their natural crystal form but craftsmen soon made every effort to improve the refractive qualities of the stones. In the 18th century, the first flat rose cut was created. For this, the top side of the diamond is faceted while the bottom is a flat surface, which allows for a particularly soft radiance. At the turn of the 19th century, the so-called old cut took shape that finally led to the full cut brilliant in 1939. Here the refraction of the light is optimised on a physical basis. Modern diamonds are almost exclusively cut in this form.