Diamond Jewelry

700 Years of Glory and Glamour


A social history of diamond jewelry, told through the stories of the European rulers and socialites who commissioned and wore it

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ISBN: 9780500021507 Category:

Mrs Diana Scarisbrick


Diamond jewelry has long been symbolic of political power and authority in Europe. This book focuses on the individuals who commissioned and wore extraordinarily precious diamond ornaments from the mid-14th century until the ‘democratization’ of diamonds that followed the opening of mines in South Africa in 1867.

This enthralling story covers seven centuries of history, showing the way in which rulers such as Charles V of France, Queen Elizabeth I of Great Britain, Louis XIV of France and Catherine II of Russia used diamond jewelry to reinforce their power and authority. As works of art, these precious creations mirror the successive styles of each period – late Gothic naturalism, the culture of the Renaissance, Baroque splendour, Rococo elegance and the Imperial grandeur of the First and Second Napoleonic Empires. The recurring themes – religion, sentiment, heraldry, military glory, miniatures and cameo portraiture – are reinterpreted by each generation of jewelers. Like royal dress, diamond jewelry was worn to dazzle and impress – at weddings, coronations, christenings and state visits – and was presented as gifts reflecting princely generosity. Over the centuries, these displays proved remarkably successful as instruments of government, symbolizing the pride and glory of a nation.

Arranged chronologically, Diamond Jewelry includes some legendary masterpieces of diamond jewelry. Written by an acknowledged expert, it offers an intriguing overview of one of the world’s most precious gems.

Additional information

Weight 1779 g
Dimensions 23.5 x 31.4 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 19 September 2019
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Dimensions 23.5 x 31.4 cm
Weight 1779 g


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