Home / Diamond

2 Antique 19thC Diamonds Ancient Roman Star Splinters Gemstones #44660

Cost: $ 59.99

Two Antique Hand Faceted Genuine Natural 1 1/2mm Faceted White Diamond Round Precious Gemstones.

CLASSIFICATION: Faceted White Diamonds Color Graded “I”.

ORIGIN: Panna, India. 19th Century.

SIZE: Approximate Diameter: 1 1/2mm. Approximate Thickness: 1 mm. 

WEIGHT: Approximately 0.05 carats (the pair).

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstones as a ring, pendant, or as earrings.

There was but one source of diamond I the ancient world…India, where written records pertaining to diamond date back to 400 B.C. The ancient Greeks believed diamonds were tears of the gods; and it is from the Greek word adamas, "untameable" or "unconquerable", referring to its hardness, that the word “diamond” is derived. The ancient Romans believed that diamonds were splinters of fallen stars. Though these are merely small accent stones, they are nonetheless gorgeous, sparkling white diamond rounds. They would be very suitable for petite studs, or for accents set into a ring or pendant. These gemstones were hand faceted in Bombay, India, in the late 19th century into a cut which is very similar to the brilliant round faceted finish given to contemporary round diamonds. In fact the cut could be properly called the “precursor” to the more modern finish. These are crystal clear precious gemstones with great fire and brilliance – good quality stones. They truly are very beautiful, natural gemstones.

Under magnification the gemstones show the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted.  The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone.  These characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones.  Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones that approach flawlessness in a perfect finish, the cut and finish of handcrafted gemstones such as these are the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.

These gemstones have great lustre, and are absolutely transparent, but they are not entirely flawless.  True, the blemishes they possess are virtually invisible to the naked eye, and the gemstones can be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean".  However magnified five times over as they are here, you might be able to discern a blemish or two within the stones.  Of course the same may said about almost any natural gemstone.  An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature.  Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic.   You might also notice under magnification occasional irregularities in the cut and finish.  Naturally these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques prevalent did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so common today. 
Keep in mind that two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of semi-precious gemstones.  Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible.  For these reasons antique gemstone must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second.  The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones mined from deep beneath the earth's surface were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so.  But for most, the unique nature and character of these antique gemstones more than makes up for the blemishes found within the gemstones, as well as the cutting irregularities common to handcrafted gemstones, all of which are by and large are only visible under magnification.
HISTORY: In the ancient world there was only one source of diamonds…India. Bombay remains today one of the world’s great diamond cutting centers (along with New York, Tel Aviv, and Antwerp). Over 800,000 cutters are employed in the city of Bombay alone; cutting 90% of the world’s diamonds. The diamonds we offer here originate from the Majhgawan pipe, near Panna, India, which was discovered in 1827. However India is no longer a big producer of mined diamonds, producing only about 20,000 carats a year. Australia produces 2,000 times more diamonds each year – about 40 million carats a year; followed by 20 million a year for the Congolese Republic, 15 million a year for Botswana, and 10 million a year each for Russia and South Africa. However this region of India did produce some of the world’s greatest diamonds, including the Great Mogul (793 carats), the Regent (410 carats), the Nizam (340 carats), the Orloff (194 carats), the Kohinoor (132 carats), and the Hope or Blue Tavernier (112 carats). If you would like to learn more about the Indian diamonds of Panna, please click <A HREF="http://www.heavendiamonds.com/public/articles/indiadiamonds.htm#Panna">here</A>.
The traditional Indian supplies of diamonds which had fed the appetites of the ancient world for thousands of years were almost exhausted when enormous new alluvial deposits of diamonds were discovered in 1725 in Brazil, followed by the staggering discoveries of 1870 in South Africa. Perhaps the earliest symbolic use of diamonds was as the eyes of Hindu devotional statues. The diamonds themselves were thought to be endowments from the gods and were therefore cherished. The point at which diamonds assumed their divine status is not known, but early texts indicate they were recognized in India since at least 400 B.C. The word most generally used for diamond in Sanskrit was vajra, or "thunderbolt," and the possession of diamond was according to ancient Hindu texts thought to bring, “happiness, prosperity, children, riches, grain, cows and meat. (As well) he who wears a diamond will see dangers recede from him whether he (is) threatened by serpents, fire, poison, sickness, thieves, flood or evil spirits."
The ancient Greeks believed diamonds were tears of the gods; and it is from the Greek word adamas, "untameable" or "unconquerable", referring to its hardness, that the word “diamond” is derived. The ancient Romans believed that diamonds were splinters of fallen stars. The presence of diamond in Rome is established by the writings of Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.). Unfortunately according to Pliny, “these stones are tested upon the anvil, and will resist the blow to such an extent as to make the iron rebound and the very anvil split asunder." One can only imagine the numbers of genuine diamonds smashed into splinters by this ill-advised test. However even diamond splinters were valued by the Romans who used diamond points set into iron scribes to engrave sapphires, cameos, and intaglios. Even early Chinese references to diamond cite its coming from Rome in iron scribes. Chinese interest in diamond was strictly as an engraving or carving tool, primarily for jade, or as a drill for beads and pearls.
In western culture, diamonds are the traditional emblem of fearlessness and virtue. Though most of the world’s diamonds are cut in Bombay, over 90% of the world’s rough diamonds are traded in Antwrep, Belgium. Between the 13th and 15th centuries the world’s diamond center had been Bruges; then Antwerp until the city’s capture by the Spanish in 1585 A.D.; then Amsterdam through the early 19th century, then back to Antwrep. The Portuguese colony of Goa was the point of origin for diamonds from India, the trade route developing from Goa to Lisbon to Antwerp and thus cutting out the traditional Arabic middle men. Small numbers of diamonds begin appearing in European regalia and jewelry in the 13th century, set as accent points among pearls in splendidly wrought gold. Louis IX of France (1214-70 A.D.) decreed that diamonds were to be reserved for royalty alone, an indication of the rarity of diamonds and the value conferred on them at that time.
The history of diamond cutting can be traced to the late Middle Ages before which time diamonds were enjoyed in their natural octahedral state. At the time, diamond was valued chiefly for its brilliant lustre and superlative hardness. The most common (“table”) cut diamond would appear black to the eye, as they do in paintings of the era. Diamond cutting is believed to have originated in Venice about 1330 A.D. By 1375 A.D. there was a guild of diamond polishers in Nurnberg. About a hundred years later absolute symmetry in the disposition of faceting was introduced and the most common cuts were known as pendeloque or briolette. About the middle of the 16th century, the rose cut was introduced. The first “brilliant cut” was introduced in the middle of the 17th century. By the 16th century as diamonds became larger and more prominent, their popularity had spread from royalty to the noble classes. This was in part a response to the development of diamond faceting, which enhanced their brilliance and fire. By the 17th century diamonds were becoming popular with the wealthy merchant class.
Diamonds occur in a variety of colors - steel, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink, brown and black. The most common diamonds, and arguably the most sought after (though not the rarest) are pure and colorless. The most common impurity is nitrogen, which if dispersed will give the stone a yellowish tint (but if clustered does not affect the diamond’s color). Diamonds without nitrogen impurities are often colored pink, red, or brown – the color arising from molecular structural anomalies. Blue diamonds are colored by boron impurities. A form of carbon, diamonds are not “forever”, even the Romans demonstrated that they will burn (or decay with heat). However a diamond is likely the oldest thing you will ever own, probably 3 billion years in age, fully two thirds the age of the Earth. Diamonds are carbon crystals that form deep within the Earth under high temperatures and extreme pressures. For instance when as part of “plate teutonics” an ocean floor slides beneath the earth’s crust and into the mantle, entrapped organic carbon may eventually become diamond. They are created at depths generally more than 150 kilometers down into the mantle.

 Diamonds are brought back to the surface in a rare form of molten rock, or magma. that originates at great depths, which rises and erupts in small but violent volcanoes. When cooled, just beneath such volcanoes is a carrot-shaped "pipe" filled with volcanic rock, mantle fragments, and embedded diamonds. Diamonds also form as a result of the immense pressures created by meteor impacts. Meteorites also experience impacts themselves and can contain diamonds. And the most ancient meteorite material contains star dust, the remnants of the death of stars. Some of this star dust are very small diamonds and are older than the solar system itself. New studies indicate that they formed more than 5 billion years ago in flashes of radiation from dying red-giant stars into surrounding clouds of methane-rich gas. If you would like to learn more about diamonds, please click <A HREF="http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/diamonds/composition.html">here</A> to visit a great web site by the American Museum of Natural History. If you would like to learn how diamonds are graded, please click <A HREF="http://csu.rbcmail.ru/DiamondGrading.htm">here</A>.

8/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Follow Me on Pinterest

If you have any questions about this item, please ask
SEND Cancel


Contact Information

Quick Navigation

Copyright 2011.