A Season for Every Bride: Guest Blog from our Friends at Ashton Gardens!

It’s not long after a bride gets that big, beautiful diamond on their hand, hopefully from a fantastic jeweler like Union Diamond, that worry begins to set in. With so many details to consider, brides have the enormous task of finding that perfect date to call their own and a venue to match. The trouble in looking for that perfect venue usually comes from things like uncomfortable temperatures, or a lack luster back drop for pictures. Fortunately, for that frantic bride, Ashton Gardens exists. Continue reading

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The Cullinan Diamond

It’s a Prince for the Royal Family and as such he will not get to wear much of the royal jewels… unless he really wants too in which case, hell, more power to him! But one famous rock he will get to wield is the famed Cullinan diamond… at least… some of it. But i’m getting ahead of myself. First some history.

Found on January 26, 1905, the Cullinan diamond is the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found. In its rough state the giant rock weighed in at 3,106.75 carats. That’s over a pound! The diamond was found by Thomas Evan Powell at the Premier mine in South Africa. He was going about his daily tasks when a glint of sunlight caught his eye, he looked up, and sticking out of the wall was what looked like a huge chunk of glass. He retrieved the object and turned it over to his supervisor Frederick Wells. Wells took it to be examined and the hunk of glass turned out to be a huge diamond!  The stone was named for Sir Thomas Cullinan who owned the mine and who also happened to be touring it that very day. It was then decided to gift the stone to King Edward VII on his birthday in 1907. Now, shipping anything this valuable overseas was going to be difficult, but they had a plan. In order to fool criminals it was leaked that the diamond would be sent to England via a ship with many armed detectives, however in reality, the diamond was sent via registered mail! Can you imagine dropping that off at the post office? Continue reading

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UD Rewind: “It’s a Diamond Jubilee!”

It’s Monday and the world is glued to the news unfolding out of the UK. That’s right, #royalbabywatch is in full swing! So to celebrate we thought we’d take some time this week to look at some of the jewels that the little one may someday inherit.

So let’s rewind a bit shall we, and take a peek at some of the fabulous jewelry displayed during Queen Elizabeth II’s historic Jubilee Year that might be worn by a future Princess. *Cue time travel music!* Continue reading

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Wedding Gowns… Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder… but we’re pretty sure that the beholder would have to be blind to find some of these monstrosities beautiful. Now… I’m going to hedge my bets here and admit that I am just one of the lowly plebian masses that buys her clothes at Macys, Target, and *gasp* even once or twice at Walmart. So i’m hardly one to judge whether or not something created by the highest of fashion houses is pretty. But still, sometimes you’ve just gotta call it as ya see it right? Continue reading

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To wrinkle, or not to wrinkle. Or hey, just give up and cover your wrinkles with gold!

I’ve always been a big fan of the TV show Friends, especially the lovably neurotic character played by Courtney Cox. I recently saw her in an interview on Good Morning America and was struck by how well she had aged. I mean, the woman looked photoshopped. And then she started talking, and her face didn’t move, at all. And I thought, AHA, Botox. Ok, so I admittedly have no idea what Courtney does, or does not do to try and turn back the hands of time, but at what point does a person say, “Ok, you caught me, I’m over 40?” Are we all destined to become cartoon character versions of our former selves like Dolly Parton? Not to knock Dolly at all, I love her dearly and at least she had the presence of mind to realize that she was turning into the Pigeon Forge version of Minnie Mouse so that she could turn that she could in turn have her own theme park. Seriously, the woman is brilliant. Continue reading

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Yet another reason to buy diamonds

So, we know that diamonds are beautiful and can be used in all sorts of things from jewelry, to saw blades. However, a pair of researchers has dreamed up a whole new use for the sparkly rocks. Researchers Steven Shirey and Stephen Richardson had the idea that inclusions locked within diamonds could be used to date the diamonds themselves, as well as to get a glimpse into what Earth may have looked like billions of years ago. Continue reading

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Fluorescence: Does your diamond have a secret?

We get a lot of questions about Fluorescence here at Union Diamond. Customers want to know “What is it”? “Will my diamond look cloudy? What colors can diamonds fluoresce? Will it jump off the table and do a little dance?” Ok, so I made that last one up, but fluorescence is one of the most incredible, and the most misunderstood phenomena about diamonds. So let’s dispel the myths and bring the truth about fluorescence to light, UV light that is. (Sorry, that was terrible, but I just couldn’t help myself)  Continue reading

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The world’s most expensive, and enduring, hard disk.

I was organizing my computer this morning when I was reminded of just how much of our lives are tied up in our computers. I remember being in college when my laptop developed the “blue screen of death”. Of course, I hadn’t backed it up in a while so countless pictures and documents were ‘poof’, gone away. Ever since then, I’ve had an external hard drive that backs up my main desktop on a nightly basis. But there’s always the with that one day, there would be a computer with a hard drive that would never crash, would never catch fire, and that would in fact, last forever. Well, according to an article I read recently, that may not be as much of a pipe dream as I thought. Continue reading

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The World’s Most Expensive “Edible” Cupcake

So, do all of you have fantabulous plans for tomorrow? If you’re in the US that is, if not, um, well, enjoy your Wednesday. But for all of you American readers, we’re gonna celebrate! And what celebration is complete without a cupcake? Ok, I’m sure you’re all protesting and saying “but what about pies, and tarts, and flan”? Does anybody actually eat flan? It just looks so gross. Anyways, all of those other desserts are ok, but to me, there’s nothing better than a good chocolate cupcake, as long as it doesn’t have whipped frosting. Ew. And, while I’m a bit sheepish to admit this, my favorite cupcake in the world comes from Kroger. It’s a chocolate cupcake with blue frosting. Seriously, it completes me. But for those of you with, ehem, more elevated cupcake tastes, hold on to your hats because I’m about to hit you with the world’s most expensive cupcake found in, where else, Dubai. Continue reading

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Union Diamond Rewind! The Liberty Bell Has Been Stolen!

Ok, ok, calm down, I’m not talking about this liberty bell.

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I’m talking about this one. See, we thought that it would be the perfect moment to recap this story since tomorrow is July 4th and since Ruby is the birthstone for July. It’s perfect! *Cue the Rewind Music!

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The Liberty Bell Ruby. A stone that is in fact so famous, that I had never heard about it. That is, until someone stole it. And not just any someone, these guys.

Liberty Bell Thieves

Now wanted by the FBI and appearing on a recent installment of America’s Most Wanted. And I have to ask why? It’s not like these guys ran in shooting everyone in sight. If I had to compile a list of people that I most wanted the FBI to nab, these guys wouldn’t make it too high on my list. I mean look at them, a couple of garden variety, mask wearing dudes except for the guy at the top right in this FBI video screen shot. Apparently, he was so unenthused about the whole thing, that he felt in need of a nap during the robbery.

 

Anyways, the “one-of-a-kind”, stolen ruby was valued at a mind numbing $2 million. My first thought was, of course it was one-of-a-kind, who’d want to bother making a second one? This could just be me having flashbacks to the Teodora “emerald” though so feel free to ignore my misgivings on the supposed value of this stone.  However, all of my musings aside, the piece is quite a bit more impressive when you hear its stats. You see, when I first saw the picture, I couldn’t believe that someone would pay 2 million dollars for what looked like a 2 inch souvenir carving that I could have bought at Dollywood. Not that I would knock those carvings, not at all, especially since I bought one myself when I was ten. It was shaped like a horsey and I loved it. But back to the Liberty Bell. At the time of its discovery it weighed 8,500 carats and was listed in the Guinness Book as the “largest uncut ruby in the world”. Right, because when something receives acclaim for being the largest uncut something or other in the world, my first thought is also that it should immediately be cut, losing its title. But hey, I’m weird that way.

 

Nonetheless, the rough was acquired by well known jewelry do-gooders the Kazanjian brothers who had founded Jewels for Charity a few years prior and received acclaim for their carved Sapphire busts of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Martin Luther King Jr. which were then displayed in the Oval Office. So, in keeping with their patriotic aesthetic, the brothers carved the seven pound stone into a rendering of the Liberty Bell encircled by the powerful wings of a Bald Eagle. To be honest, I didn’t even notice the eagle until I read the article. And even then, it looks like a cloak with an eagle’s head attached, kind of like those bear skin rugs. But anyways,  fifty round brilliant diamonds completed the piece, representing the fifty states. The finished carving was presented at the Bicentennial celebration in 1976 and measures 5.5 inches high by 3.5 inches wide and weighs in a about 4 pounds.

Liberty Bell Ruby 1

The FBI is currently asking that anyone with information on the whereabouts of the missing gem to contact them immediately. And now I’m back again to questioning why someone would steal this thing in the first place. It’s heavy, cumbersome, and totally unsellable aside from good old Dollywood. There is always the thief mantra of re-cut resell to worry about as well. Famous gems throughout history have been re-cut to hide their origins after a theft including the very famous Hope diamond. However, owner Jim Stein is not that worried, noting that the stone isn’t gem quality. So, to sum up, we have a Dollywood-worthy carving of the Liberty Bell wearing a cape surrounded by 50 small diamonds.

 

Hrmm, so, what do you think? Would you pay $2 million for the Liberty Bell? What do you think the thieves will do with it? We’d love to hear any fantastic stories you come up with. The more creative the better!

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