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Feb. 2002

Published by the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle

Edited by Hubert Bari and Violaine Sautter

This coffee table sized book is a beautiful addition to the library of any diamond connoisseur, but it will not fit on the bookshelf due to its size.

The contributors are all world class scientists, historians and museum curators specializing in diamonds or gemology.

Topics covered range from diamonds found in volcanoes to those falling from the stars; from diamond mines in India to discoveries in Australia and South Africa. All are all covered in great detail, as are developments of diamond cut.

These subjects, as well as the Russian diamond treasures and the mystical powers attributed to diamonds, are discussed at great length. This book is unique not so much for its text on the history of diamonds, and famous personalities that wore them, but also for the 350 beautiful illustrated pages, many of them appearing for the first time in this volume.

A 50-word glossary contains definitions of such words esclogite and, more interestingly, star—which is defined as “A famous person, generally female, who likes wearing diamonds!” or, secondarily, “a celestial body that produces diamond in one of the phases of its lifespan.”

Diamonds was originally created as the catalogue for an exhibit of the same name at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. (That exhibit, like the book itself, was sponsored by Robert Mouawad, Brinks, American Airlines, Fichet-Bauche and the DTC).

The only book that compares to this in size and content, also published both in English and French—is Diamonds, Myth, Magic and Reality, published in 1979. This volume also has an international group of well-known authors and illustrations.

Though the present volume was originally created as the catalogue for a temporary museum exhibition, it has a permanent value in any gem library.

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