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Did You Know?

  • The Hope diamond, probably the most famous diamond in the world when finally purchased by Harry Winston in 1947, was donated to the Smithsonian Institute.

    Believed to be re-cut from Marie Antoinette's Heart shaped 67.13 carat “French Blue” which disappeared on the night of June 20 1791 at the start of the French revolution, it resurfaced in 1812 a different shape and 22.63 carat lighter.

    It has had many different owners all of which have seemed to fallen to its curse. Some went mad, others once wealthy business people died penniless. While Winston's security team discussed at great lengths the logistics of transporting such a concentration of wealth, Harry slipped out, walked to the nearest post office and mailed the stone to himself; it arrived safely the next day amongst the regular mail at his office!

  • The original DeBeers Brothers had nothing to do with diamonds. They were simple farmers who owned the land that the first South African diamond mine was discovered on.

    A gentleman by the name of Cecil Rhodes was one of the people who were responsible for the diamond business, as we know it today. But he wasn't a miner either; he sold water-pumping equipment to the mine owners and amassed a small fortune before considering going into diamonds.

  • When Diamond explorers are on the lookout for new diamond deposits, they don't even look for diamonds. They search the ground for other gem stones know as Diamond Indicators, the most famous of which is the humble Garnet.

  • One night in 1948, Frances Gerety, a young, overworked and exhausted copywriter working late for the next days presentation with DeBeers came up with a four-word line slogan, which came to be known as “The greatest advertising slogan of the twentieth century”.

    She recalls: I had finished and was putting my things away when I realised I had forgotten the signature line. Dog tired, I put my head down and said out loud, ‘Please god, send me a line’.

    I sat up and wrote: “A DIAMOND IS FOREVER”.

    Within three years of that late-night inspiration, 80 percent of all American couples where asking for a diamond to mark their engagement.

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