Today diamond is the king of gems, two thousand years ago it was the gem of kings. This talk will trace the history of diamonds from the earliest times up to the dawn of the modern era when, a hundred and fifty years ago, diamonds were discovered in South Africa. Diamonds, the hardest known gem, long frustrated any attempt to cut or polish them, but they were still set in jewelry, symbols of power and indestructibility. Towards the end of medieval times they finally succumbed to the lapidary’s wheel and cutting styles developed to best refract and reflect light, then the discovery of new sources ushered in a fresh dawn for diamond-set jewelry. The history of diamonds is a history of jewelry and our understanding of nature’s beauty; it is also a fascinating history of international trade and human greed. 

The King of Gems: The Early History of Diamonds

Next Session: This event is closed.
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Riley Seminar Room, 156
For members only - no ticket required
Event Type
Special Instructions
with reception to follow in the Riley Seminar Room
Exclusively for Fashion Council/Laurel Society

Speaker: Jack Ogden

Speaker Bio: International Ambassador, Gemmological Association of Great Britain