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Diamonds: Early Wonders featuring this King of Gems

The Ogden family have a longstanding passion for diamonds and a new book by Jack Ogden delves into the history of this beautiful gemstone.

Jack was born into the fourth generation of Ogden of Harrogate, and spent many years running the London showroom. Combining his passion for archaeology with his expertise in diamonds, Jack has written and curated this beautiful book, which covers the early history of diamonds. Below we have highlighted some of the beautiful pieces which you can read about in 'Diamonds, An Early History of the King Gems'

Diamonds have long been viewed as the symbol of love, and one of the earliest surviving diamond set love rings, now in the British Museum, is a gold bethrothal ring from Clerkenwell, London dating from the 13th or 14th century. Bearing the inscription written in French, ‘I am here in place of a friend, yours with this gift’ it’s set with an octahedral diamond and features a clasped hand motif on the back of the hoop.

The British Museum, 1857, 0928.1. The Trustees of the British Museum. All rights reserved

Credit: The British Museum, 1857, 0928.1. The Trustees of the British Museum. All rights reserved

The Palatine, or Bohemian Crown, is a spectacular early piece. This splendid gem-set gold crown, set with thirty-three diamonds, left England as part of the dowry of Princess Blanche, daughter of Henry IV, and was probably created in Paris 1370-80.

Credit: Munich Residenz, Munich. Photo: Jack Ogden

A stunning gold and enamel ring, set with a large table cut diamond, was one of the treasures discovered in the Cheapside hoard. The table cut was popular for adding a sparkle to jewels in the seventeenth century.

Credit: Copyright Museum of London, A14244. Photo: Jack Ogden

Dating from the seventeenth century the twenty-four-facet rose is seen as the epitome of fine antique rose cut diamonds. This pendant ornament comprises of seven large stones which are full twenty-four-facet roses and regular shaped. This piece is noteworthy because it is set with coloured diamonds.

Credit: Courtesy of Benjamin Zucker

We are delighted to have three signed copies of ‘Diamonds, An Early History of the King Gems’ available in our Harrogate showroom now.

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