De Beers unveil a gold and diamond-studded crown to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. And with so many wonderful pieces of jewellery surfacing as a celebration of the jubilee, it really takes something truly special to stand out and declare itself to be genuinely unique. The Talisman Crown, has been dubbed by De Beers, the diamond jewellers, as "a new wonder to celebrate the Jubilee", and with 974 diamonds shining out, there is merit to that claim.
As with their previous and highly successful Talisman collections, the use of both rough and polished diamonds is the most striking feature of the design and the contrasts these two types of diamonds create are intended to be a celebration of Fire, Life and Brilliance. On the crown the diamonds represent past achievements next to the empty spaces intended for the achievements and aspirations of future monarchs.
Rough diamonds were for many centuries considered symbolic of security, prosperity and good luck; traditionally the preserve of Kings and Queens, fittingly there are 177 rough diamonds used in the Talisman Crown, one of which is the 73ct stone that has been placed on the crown's cross-piece, drawing the eye with its size, shape, and deep amber hues. Sonia Carpentier of De Beers explained to me as I was looking at the crown that this stone was chosen by the designer Hollie Bonneville for its beauty and not its size alone. According to Carpentier, the house has many much larger diamonds but this diamond was the most appropriate.
The crown also features 28ct and 26ct diamonds on the lower crown, again providing an intense contrast to polished lustre with a sensuous mix of oranges and browns that seem to radiate as the colours mix together in the light.
What that leaves though is a still staggering 797 polished diamonds, each utilising what is known as a Hallmark setting that employs a mix of textured and polished metal to seize the diamonds and yet still leave space on the surface for light to enter, once again radiating the brilliance and giving an ancient hammered look to the piece.
I can tell you that I had a good long look at the crown and yes I held it in my hands and touched the central diamond, which is smooth and cool to the touch with an alluring milky sheen. And did I try it on? I was tempted, but alas the bottom has been sealed off as it is strictly for display. Of course I asked if it is for sale and the answer is no, it is for the De Beers collection and of course, there is no price tag though I would love to know its value. In fact, I would settle for the diamond studded ball as a very large pendant and keep the crown for special occassions.
The De Beers Talisman Crown will be? on display at Harrods from 15th May 2012 for one month, and I highly recommend you see it for yourself as a piece like this is a fine example that even with all of the historic jewellery on display as part of the Diamond Jubilee, the new pieces can shine just as bright too.
An overlooking view of the Talisman crown.
The bejewelled top cross up close with it's uncut 73ct diamond.
This shows only a handful of the staggering 974 diamonds that have been set in the Talisman Crown.
A closer look at the Talisman Crown taking shape.
An artisan's view of the very beginnings of the crown: the designs themselves.