How to Clean Sterling Silver if yours is Turning Grey, White, Black!

There’s nothing worse then pulling a cherished piece of silver jewelry out and finding it’s turned black, grey, white or yellow.  Trying to figure out how to clean silver it  can be tough.That colour is called tarnish and it’s the bane of any silver-lover.

I love making sterling silver jewelry in my spare time. Occasionally I take on custom-made jewelry requests. But I recently had a customer write me to say a necklace I’d made for him had turned black after just a couple weeks.  He was surprised and thought something was wrong with the piece. Though it can look unsightly if not cared for properly, tarnish is a normal and natural process with sterling silver. But once tarnish or blackening is there, how can you clean silver?

What causes Tarnish?

A well-used silver polishing cloth.

A well-used silver polishing cloth.

When silver tarnishes, it’s a surface discolouration  caused by the interaction of oxygen (air) with the silver. As the British Assay Office explains it, “silver naturally interacts with oxygen and sulphur-bearing pollutants to create silver sulphide, resulting in a visible discoloration of the metal’s surface. Silver tarnishes in environments containing various sulphuric gases, even in very low concentration. The amount of tarnishing is determined by the relative humidity, ambient temperature, gas concentration, and the length of time the silver is exposed to the gases.”

With sterling silver this process is normal, natural, expected, and yes, it can occur relatively quickly.

Many things can speed tarnish; air pollution, the minerals in your water (and as such, wearing your silver jewelry in the shower can speed this process too), living or working near a chemical, electric or manufacturing plant, or even in proximity to a gas starion are all things that can cause discolouration more quickly.

Recent studies have shown tarnish develops microscopically within hours of being cleaned and exposed to air again.  You may not see it on the piece for several days or weeks, but it’s there, and will show up as a black residue on a polishing cloth.

How to clean silver

A great way to keep seldom worn jewelry clean (and silverware if you have it), is to store sterling silver in a ziplock bag with all the air squeezed or rolled out of it.  You can wrap it in a soft cloth first too.  Oxygen and thus tarnish may still seep in and can still cause blackening especially if the pieces are stores for long periods of time, but it should keep things to a minimum. Another great way to keep jewelry tarnish free?  Wear it!  Constant contact with the silver keeps tarnish from building up.

Chemicals can cause tarnish

Chemically tarnished rings. Oops!Coincidentally at the same time as this customer contacted me,  I had a friend show me some rings I’d made for her.  The shiny sterling silver had turned a deep, dark black (photo at left).  This was no tarnish effect, and she admitted she’d immersed her baubles in some household cleaner (Lysol) to spruce them up.  Instead, they’d become instantly and deeply chemically oxidized.

Now, she actually liked this look and referred to it as ‘edgy’, so she’s leaving them as they are for now.  If she did want them restored it should be a relatively simple process of buffing the chemical scarring off the surface layer, and exposing clean shiny silver beneath.

Don’t experiment with cleaning silver using household cleaners!

But this also serves as a leaning moment; only soap and water, silver polish, or a silver polishing cloth should be used to clean your silver jewelry.  Many household cleaners and chemicals can alter your precious silver.  In fact, I once had a ring turn bronze after accidentally spritzing window cleaner on it, and had other silver turn grey by getting baking soda onto it.  That too buffed out, but you’ll want to be careful with your jewelry.  Chemicals can also permanently damage certain stones like topaz, opal and more, so don’t experiment; you run the risk of really doing permanent damage.

How to Clean Silver and Remove Tarnish-> Get this Inexpensive Polishing ClothSUNSHINE MINI.JPG

If you do find some discolouration of your silver, you can remove it with a silver cloth (brand names include Sunshine Cloth, which is available inexpensively from me,  HERE or HERE). If that won’t work, stop while you’re ahead and take it to a pro for professional help.

A Note about Grocery Store Silver Cleanser

I’ve purchased cleansers from grocery stores that just don’t work.  If you’re going to get a cleanser from somewhere other than a jewelry professional, test it first on a small area.  If the cleaner doesn’t remove tarnish instantly, it’s not working.  Proper liquid silver cleaners will remove all tarnish in about 3 seconds.  Fresh new polishing cloths.If you need to soak, or scrub, stop using it, rinse your silver, and return the cleaner to where you bought it and get your money back. (Keep your receipt!)

For the jewelry ‘geeks’, the Government of Canada has written a helpful article about how to best care for your silver.  Read it here.

 

 

Have you got a horror story – or a home remedy for tarnish?  Post your comments below!

 

Do you bring your valuable tech and jewelry with you when traveling?

Misfit_Ray_overlap-640x344

Whether you’re getting ready for a spring break vacation or planning a summer getaway, don’t lose sight of your tiniest travel companions — namely your jewelry.

A recent study by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company found that more than 80 percent of fine jewelry owners will bring their pieces with them when traveling.* The two jewelry items most traveled with are engagement rings and watches. (Though it’s my guess lots of people are traveling with their smart jewelry now too!)Zultanite-Ring-1

“It’s no surprise that people bring their jewelry with them on vacation. Jewelry is part of who you are,” said Trina Woldt, chief marketing officer at Jewelers Mutual. “It’s meant to be worn and enjoyed, not left behind, especially a piece as sentimental as an engagement ring.”

However, Woldt said travelers should take extra precautions when planning their next vacation and encourages them to keep five tips in mind before heading out the door.

Here’s how to minimize risk of jewelry loss, theft or damage.

  1. Choose wisely. Take only the jewelry you’ll actual wear while traveling.
  2. Make a list. Document all the jewelry you’ll take with you, or take pictures or video.
  3. Carry it on. Never put jewelry in checked bags. Instead, wear it or stow it in your carry-on bag.
  4. Use the safe. Always store jewelry in the hotel safe when you’re not wearing it.
  5. Insure it. Get the right coverage before you leave. Look for a jewelry policy that covers loss, damage, theft and mysterious disappearance, and includes worldwide travel protection.

Bora-Bora-Island-6When you arrive at your destination
While the majority of the people surveyed said their jewelry never leaves their body while on vacation, experts at Jewelers Mutual recommend removing your jewelry before certain activities.

“Wearing jewelry in the hot tub or pool could damage certain precious stones and metals,” said Kay Kostelny, Jewelers Mutual’s Jewelry Recovery Specialist.

Kostelny condones leaving jewelry behind when wearing it could put you at a higher risk for damage or loss. When you are not wearing your jewelry, remember that it should be stored somewhere secure, not left on the hotel nightstand, in a purse or even in locked luggage.

According to the Jewelers Mutual survey, the hotel room is the most frequently mentioned area where jewelry is lost.

“These types of losses are preventable,” added Kostelny. “Storing it in the hotel safe is the best option next to wearing your jewelry and keeping it with you at all times.”

-This item has been reprinted from a news release supplied via Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company and Marketwired

 

 

Amazing ‘new’ gemstone is colour chameleon & sparkles like diamond: meet Zultanite

Zultanite

I was looking for a new TV show to binge-watch and stumbled upon Game of Stones. It’s a show about ‘the world’s most extreme gem hunters’; a band of guys from Texas who travel the world sourcing rare stones and sometimes getting into dangerous situations (carrying a hundred grand in cash in a backpack will do that).

One of the episodes focused on the discovery of the world’s largest Zultanite stone, which got me wondering, what the heck is Zultanite?

I’m a hobby silversmith and jewelry maker, and I love technology and science — geology in particular– so I was keen to learn more about this very strange stone that changes colours vibrantly.

Found in only one small place on the planet

Only found in one place in the world, Zultanite is mined in Turkey’s Anatolian Mountains at a remote location 4,000 feet above sea level. There’s just one mine that’s producing this rare and beautiful gemstone. Back in the 1980’s, the crystal was hand-hewn from the rock by individual miners.  Zultanite has only been in commercial production since 2006, and it requires pulling literally tonnes of Bauxite ore just to reach these colour-morphing crystals.

The  nearest village, Selimiye, is more than seven miles away, and there is no electricity or running water at the mine, making getting at the ore at this remote location extremely challenging. Even so, there’s an organization that now markets this unique gemstone, and they say production is growing.

zultanite2

Photo via Evelyn H.

Zultanite production may double

“Through increased mechanization Zultanite production will double this year, which will provide a consistent supply of quality gems in the quantities required by a wide range of jewelry retailers.”

What exactly is Zultanite? It’s a naturally colour-changing gemstone with colours that range from “kiwi green with flashes of yellow in sunlight conditions to raspberry hues in candlelight,” according to the Gemological Institute of America.

GIA says Zultanite is a “7/10 on the Mohs’ Hardness Scale (a system devised in the 18th century by a Viennese mineralogist Friedrich Mohs to measure the ability of a gem to resist surface scratching), has a refractive index of 1.75 and specific gravity of 3.39. These characteristics make zultanite an excellent jewelry gemstone. As 100% natural gemstone, zultanite is one of the few gems that has no known enhancements or treatments.”
There are other colour-changing gems in the jewelry world. Garnets can colour-shift, as can alexandrite, color-change fluorite, and some sapphires.

 What makes this stone so rare above the others? Its single-source mine, for one.  The Zultanite marketing group notes “only 50 percent of all Zultanite mined is suitable for faceting and up to 98 percent of the raw crystals are lost during the cutting, or lapidary, process.”  As a result, Zultanite can sell for $475 per carat.

 

 The largest Zultanite is the ‘Sultan’s Shield’

The ‘Sultan’s Shield’ is the name given to the world’s largest Zultanite which has been set in a necklace by Stephen Webster. It weighs an astonishing 96.20 carats.
The Sultan’s Shield

Zultanite is already becoming popular with celebrities and big name jewelry designers. Keep an eye out for it next time you’re shopping for something special.

Gadgets get better looking! The rise of ‘Smart Jewelry’

tech talk december 3This time on CTV’s Tech Talk we focused on a new trend that’s seeing gadgets get  better looking, after many years of being functional, but in some cases kinda ugly.

Tory Burch for Fitbit

IMG_7876I’ve long been a big fan of Fitbit’s Flex fitness tracker. (Read why here) My biggest knock on it has been that it’s not a pretty accessory when it’s worn at work or for a night out. Fitbit’s heard my prayers, partnering with US Designer tory Burch for a line of beautiful jewelry-type cases for the Flex; a series of bracelets, and a neat pendant too. You’ll need the Flex tracker first (sold separately), but now you’ve got a gorgeous option, aside from the ugly and obvious plastic wristbands that the Flex comes with.

Bellabeat Leaf Fitness Tracker

IMG_7784The Bellabeat Leaf is a sleep, stress, movement and health monitor that looks nothing like typical fitness bands. It’s a beautiful metal and wood pendant that is very versatile. It can be worn on a chain around the neck, clipped to a leather buckle bracelet, or clipped on to any piece of clothing. it comes in a few different colour combinations too.

This neat little gadget tracks your movements like many fitness monitors, but it will also track your menstrual cycle.

Moto360 Smart Watch

IMG_8507We’ve all heard about smart watches, and Motorola’s entry to the market is just as stylish and smart as the others. With a round face and interchangeable virtual watch faces, you can totally customize this watch to your mood, outfit, or overall style.

The watch will deliver alerts directly to your wrist; everything from the basic texts, calls and emails, but also alerts from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram plus WordPress and even the Ring Video Doorbell! While it has some limitations whenused with Apple smart devices, it still works pretty good, and looks great.

Netatmo June UV Sensing Bracelet

netatmo-june-1-537x402June by netatmo is a small light-sensor made beautiful. It measures ambient light and alerts you when you’ve had too much sun. JUNE’s UVA and UVB sensors measure your sun exposure while the App computes the data and gives you the UV index in real time. While it should keep you from getting a sunburn, it can also protect you from the aging properties of the suns rays by alerting you when you’ve been in the sun too long. This delicate little sensor is sparkly and looks like a pretty gemstone. Attached to a nice leather bracelet, it’s a chic way to be sun savvy.

Fossil Q Smart Watches and Fitness Bands

fossil q watch

Speaking of sexy watches, Fossil has come out with a new line of really, really beautiful watches that will also give you smart alerts. I tested the Fossil Q Grant, a lovely watch with Roman numerals that gives you a subtle buzz when something on your phone needs attention.

dreamerYou’ll get filtered notifications from favorite contacts and the Q line also allows you to track everything from steps to calories. Fossil Q Grant is compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems.

I also showed the Fossil Q Dreamer, a fitness tracker that looks like chic jewelry, rather than a bulky or plastic fitness band. This charming and sparly little bangle also tracks daily steps and calories, as well as providing basic vibrating alerts for messages.

Looking for more chic wearables? Click to read my Top 5 Wearables List!

I also showed the brand new Glow Headphones. These have garnered a lot of attention since I first  showed them off on my Twitter and YouTube Channel.

They’re quite the eye-catching earphones! Read the full review of them here.

IMG_8243

 

Diamonds 2.0 invented?

microdiamonds
Scanning Electron Microscope image of microdiamonds made using the new technique. Courtesy: NOrth Caroline State University.

Researchers from North Carolina State University say they’ve found a new form of solid carbon, and that discovery has allowed them to make diamonds much easier.

 

The new form or “phase” of carbon is called Q-carbon; other forms for solid carbon include graphite (think lead pencils) and diamonds.winston diamond

The discovery allows diamond-like structures to be made  at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.

“We’ve now created a third solid phase of carbon,” says Jay Narayan, lead author of the study. “The only place it may be found in the natural world would be possibly in the core of some planets.”

Q-carbon is made by using a base like sapphire, glass or a plastic then layering on “amorphous carbon” – essentially carbon without a well-defined crystal structure. Lasers then heat and cool the carbon rapidly, and the result is a film of Q-carbon, which the researchers say is harder than diamond, which are already some  of the hardest known substances to humans.

So how would these micro-diamond-carbon structures be used? They could replace diamond on drills or cutting devices, for starters.

“We can create diamond nanoneedles or microneedles, nanodots, or large-area diamond films, with applications for drug delivery, industrial processes and for creating high-temperature switches and power electronics,” Narayan says. “These diamond objects have a single-crystalline structure, making them stronger than polycrystalline materials. And it is all done at room temperature and at ambient atmosphere – we’re basically using a laser like the ones used for laser eye surgery. So, not only does this allow us to develop new applications, but the process itself is relatively inexpensive.”

Could   Q-carbon become a more enduring symbol of love than diamonds? Not yet. Researchers have not been able to make the Q-carbon layer much thicker than a film.

“We can make Q-carbon films, and we’re learning its properties, but we are still in the early stages of understanding how to manipulate it,” Narayan says. “We know a lot about diamond, so we can make diamond nanodots. We don’t yet know how to make Q-carbon nanodots or microneedles. That’s something we’re working on.”

 

Jewelry Fix: What to do if Your Sterling Silver is Turning Black, Grey, White!

Why is my silver jewelry turning strange colours? It’s a question I get asked a lot. I recently had a customer complain about a necklace “tarnishing” just a few weeks after purchase. His wife decided to use the polishing cloth to give the sterling silver a wipe, and was aghast when it came away black.

A well-used silver polishing cloth.
A well-used silver polishing cloth.

So he wrote me to express his surprise that his new necklace would discolour so quickly.  It made me realize it’s probably a great education opportunity.

When silver tarnishes, it’s a surface discolouration  caused by the interaction of oxygen (air) with the silver. As the British Assay Office explains it, “silver naturally interacts with oxygen and sulphur-bearing pollutants to create silver sulphide, resulting in a visible discoloration of the metal’s surface. Silver tarnishes in environments containing various sulphuric gases, even in very low concentration. The amount of tarnishing is determined by the relative humidity, ambient temperature, gas concentration, and the length of time the silver is exposed to the gases.”

With sterling silver this process is normal, natural, expected, and yes, it can occur relatively quickly.

Many things can speed tarnish; air pollution, the minerals in your water (and as such wearing your silver jewelry in the shower can speed this process too), living or working near a chemical, electric or manufacturing plant are all things that can cause discolouration more quickly.

Recent studies have shown tarnish develops microscopically within hours of being cleaned and exposed to air again.  You may not see it on the piece for several days or weeks, but it’s there, and will show up as a black residue on a polishing cloth.  A great way to keep seldom worn jewelry clean (and silverware if you have it), is to store sterling silver in a ziplock bag with all the air squeezed or rolled out of it.  You can wrap it in a soft cloth first too.  Oxygen and thus tarnish may still seep in and can still cause blackening especially if the pieces are stores for long periods of time, but it should keep things to a minimum.

Chemically tarnished rings. Oops!
Chemically tarnished rings. Oops!

Coincidentally at the same time as this customer contacted me,  I had a friend show me some rings I’d made for her.  The shiny sterling silver had turned a deep, dark black.  This was no tarnish effect, and she admitted she’d immersed her baubles in some household cleaner (Lysol) to spruce them up.  Instead, they’d become instantly and deeply chemically oxidized.

Now, she actually liked this look and referred to it as ‘edgy’, so she’s leaving them as they are for now.  If she did want them restored it should be a relatively simple process of buffing the chemical scarring off the surface layer, and exposing clean shiny silver beneath.  But this also serves as a leaning moment; only soap and water, silver polish or a silver polishing cloth should be used to clean silver.  Many household cleaners and chemicals can alter your precious silver.  In fact, I once had a ring turn bronze after accidentally spritzing window cleaner on it, and had other silver turn grey by getting baking soda onto it.  That too buffed out, but you’ll want to be careful with your jewelry.

How to Remove Tarnish-> Get this Inexpensive Polishing Cloth

If you do find some discolouration of your silver, you can remove it with a silver cloth (brand names include Sunshine Cloth, which is available inexpensively from me,  HERE or HERE). If that won’t work, stop while you’re ahead and take it to a pro for professional help.

SUNSHINE MINI.JPG

A Note about Grocery Store Silver Cleanser

I’ve purchased cleansers from grocery stores that just don’t work.  If you’re going to get a cleanser from somewhere other than a jewelry professional, test it first on a small area.  If the cleaner doesn’t remove tarnish instantly, it’s not working.  Proper liquid silver cleaners will remove all tarnish in about 3 seconds.  If you need to soak, or scrub, stop using it, rinse your silver, and return the cleaner to where you bought it and get your money back. (Keep your receipt!)

Fresh new polishing cloths.
Fresh new polishing cloths.

And for the jewelry ‘geeks’, the Government of Canada has written a helpful article about how to best care for your silver.  Read it here.

Have you got a horror story – or a home remedy for tarnish?  Post your comments below!

Check out some of my other blog topics HERE

Jewelry & Technology Meet in Ringly

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 2.23.19 PMI found a great new gadget that’s as pretty as the jewelry I love, because it IS jewelry!  It’s a ring, that doubles as a messenger, vibrating and lighting up when a phone call, text or other alert comes into your phone.

 

These  rings from Ringly  are gold-plated brass, with different semi-precious stones such as moonstone, onyx and quartz in 19×14 mm size..

 

Used with the free app, you can set different vibration patterns and different light colours to tell you about different types of alerts when they come into your phone.  Ringly is water-resistant, but the company doesn’t recommend getting it soaking wet: you can wash your hands, but don’t take it swimming, diving or aqua cycling!Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 2.23.52 PM

 

Only a few sizes are available, and because it’s plated, the ring can’t be resized.

 

Ringly is pre-ordering right now, with stock set to ship in 2015.

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 2.28.22 PM

Mystery Bracelet; What is it, How is it Made, and How to Fix it?

A client gave me this bangle for repair.

Image

It’s a beautiful smooth, free-form silver, stamped 925, with wire wrapping around the outside. It is tearing along the edges in some places, but I can’t tell how it’s made and thus how to repair it. In a couple of the torn areas, there’s a soft brown substance inside, and the bracelet sounds hollow when you tap it. I wonder; Could it be leather in the core? Wood? How would you get the silver to cover it so nicely and evenly? It’s heavy, but not as heavy as you’d expect if it were solid silver.

Image
It’s a gorgeous piece, but I’m not sure how to proceed with any repair. I’ve been asking around if anyone recognizes this style, or can educate me about how it’s made or how best to repair it.. so far: no clues.

The only other clues I have are this: it’s stamped “AL” beside the 925, and my client says it was bought in Calgary Canada. “A woman from Calgary (have no idea who or where she is) was selling this Israeli women’s jewellery designs as that woman wanted to come to Canada. It is the last I saw of her and the jewellery.”
Image

Feeling like a detective?  If you have any insight into my puzzle, please message me, or post a comment. And share or reblog this if you could….

 

Image

The Corporation that Tells YOU What Shade of Blue the Sky Is: Pantone

Pantone_logo.svgRed, yellow, blue, green.  Soft beige, Did you know there’s a “Global Authority on Colour”?  Yes, there’s actually a company that is in charge of naming, standardizing and overseeing colour. “The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer,” says their website.
Pantone names and decided what “Ice Green” looks , like, and deems it to be lighter than “Antique Green”.  It also assigns each colour it creates a unique  number that allows is to be accurately duplicated.
“The most commonly referenced colors are in the Pantone solids palette. The Pantone Solid palette consists of 1,114 colors, identified by three or four digit numbers, followed by a C, U, Or M suffix.. Originally designed for the graphics industry, the pantone solids palette is now used by a wide range of industries, and is the most commonly used palette. For example, Pantone 199 Red can be identified as Pantone 199C (C= Coated Paper), Pantone 199U (U= Uncoated Paper) or Pantone 199M (M=Matte Paper), says colour guide.net.
pantone fan canvas

Pantone, once the domain of the graphics and design industry has recently been getting more consumer attention, by partnering with companies like Sephora to produce products in the colours it deems to be “The Colour of the Year”.  This year it’s Radiant Orchid”, or “purple” to us layfolk.  Last year it was “Emerald Green” and in 2012 it was “Tangerine Tango”, translation: Orange.

Is Pantone successful?  Well, that’s a good question, are any of the walls in your house now painted any of those above colours?  What shade of new clothes are you favouring in your wardrobe?

pantone sephora

Gems From Legendary Mines

This article is from Christies Auction House.

“From a Golconda diamond to a Muzo emerald, learn more about the world’s most legendary mines where the finest and rarest examples of gems, saturated with centuries of history and romance, are sourced.

THE MUZO EMERALD

Emeralds from the mines of Colombia have always been the most desirable, and amongst those the Muzo mine is sought most highly. With fewer impurities compared to emeralds from other sources, emeralds from Muzo are famous for their saturated pure green hue, their size and their clarity. The Spanish conquistadores in the early 16th century discovered the existence of the legendary Muzo mine in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Undeterred by the inhospitable mining climate and terrain, the Spanish were soon able to ensure a consistent flow of emeralds through the jungles of Colombia to Spain and Europe, with the most exceptional and beautiful going to royal European collections.

From the Legendary Muzo Mine
The extraordinary emerald weighing 9.27 carats is one of the rarest and highest quality gems to come from the legendary Muzo mines in recent years. This gem is highly transparent pure crystal, absolutely free of any form of enhancement. For an emerald of such a size, lacking any typical “garden like” emerald inclusion, coupled with its evenly saturated, slightly bluish-green colour, is a truly rare find in today’s market.

THE MUZO EMERALD

“Indeed there is no stone, the colour of which is more delightful to the eye for whereas the sight fixes itself with avidity upon the green grass and foliage of the trees, we have all the more pleasure in looking upon the emerald, there being no green in existence of a more intense colour than this” – Pliny

A KASHMIR SAPPHIRE

The term Kashmir has come to mean the most desirable and expensive of blue sapphires, and identifies both the place of origin and the colour of the stone. Kashmir sapphires come from the legendary mines in the
Zanskar range of the northwestern Himalayas. By 1887, the mine was exhausted and since then there has only been sporadic activity due to the harsh climatic conditions and political unrest. As a result Kashmir sapphires of top quality, especially those above 10 carats, are extremely difficult to find.

A KASHMIR SAPPHIRE

This unmounted cushion-shaped sapphire of 19.94 cts exhibits all the highly regarded qualities of Kashmir sapphires, the exceptional size, a richly saturated, homogenous velvety blue colour and most importantly,
no form of enhancement or treatment. It is truly a rare gem that will captivate connoisseurs from all over the world.

LEGENDS OF THE GOLCONDA

For the gem connoisseur, only one name has the power to instantly evoke the legend, history and value of diamonds: Golconda. The great diamonds of Golconda were mainly produced in the 16th century, including the Koh-I-Noor, now part of the Crown Jewels of England, the Agra, and the Hope, donated by Harry Winston to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. The mines were depleted in the mid 18th century and large diamonds are seldom encountered today.

The rarest Golconda diamonds retain their original antique cuts, exhibiting the cutting styles common to earlier centuries. These older cuts emphasize the limpid transparency which makes Golconda diamonds so special. Today, it is extremely rare for a diamond to be considered worthy of the ‘Golconda’ attribution.

The Great Golconda
The 26.17 carat pear-shaped diamond suspended from a diamond briolette chain shows the typical old-cut style that enhances its spectacular degree of transparency rarely seen in stones from other mines. Combined with a perfect D colour and Internally Flawless clarity, the diamond most probably once adorned an amazing Indian parure, such as the ones prized by the great Maharajahs of India.

“No country but this [India] produces diamonds. Those which are brought to our part of the world are only the refuse, as it were, of the finer and larger stones. For the flower of the diamonds are all carried to the great Khan and other kings and princes of the region. In truth they possess all the treasures of the world.” – Marco Polo

 http://www.christies.com/features/gems-from-legendary-mines-1262-1.aspx