Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Diamond Connection

While I'm not entirely of the opinion that diamonds are a girl's best friend, they're still pretty high up on my Top 100 list.   Pre-babies I used to write about jewellery, which meant that I'd spend mornings at Moussaieff or De Beers or Boucheron or Bulgari, trying on the kind of earrings and necklaces that dreams are made of, or at Harry Winston in New York being shown bracelets from the vaults that were designed by Ambaji Venkatesh Shinde, one of the most talented jewellery designers in the world, and the first  to articulate stone settings in such a way that they really catch the light every time you move; the starting point of red carpet jewellery, and, though I'm not sure if The Killers know it, the beginnings of their line "took to the spotlight like a diamond ring" in Neon Tiger, which is a line I'm storing up for an as yet unwritten novel.

But while I've been busy procrastinating with regard to the novel writing, my friend Josie most certainly has not:  her first book, The Diamond Connection, is now available to buy on Amazon.

It tells the story of the most expensive diamond necklace in the world and its theft during a high-profile charity gala in London - whereupon Jemima Fox-Pearl, Head of PR at the fine jewellery house Vogel, racks up air miles between London, South Africa and New York in a bid to solve the crime while at the same time unravelling a century-old mystery concerning the Cullinan Diamond's fabled missing part, and accidentally falling in love.  

What's brilliant is that Josie really knows what she's writing about, for she spent much of her twenties as Head of PR at the fine jewellery house Graff . . .  and it's pacy and exciting and informative and she's already working on the next one thank goodness because I, for one, can't wait to read it.  I also really want to go to South Africa, but that's a whole other issue.

So to finish, here are some amazing diamonds, which might have provided inspiration for Ms. Goodbody:

The Imperial State Crown.  See that diamond there?  That's part of the Cullinan diamond.  Before it was split up, it was over 3,106 carats - so big, the manager of the diamond mine threw it away, not believing it could be an actual diamond.  

More of the Cullinan Diamond - the largest part in fact, at 530.20 carats, it's known as the Star of Africa, and is set into the Royal Sceptre.  This, and the crown above, can be seen if one visits the Crown Jewels.  (Oh, and if you want a super super amazingly special Crown Jewels experience, check out the Christie's Travel Jewels of London trip in June, which includes a private view of the Crown Jewels, and dinner in the White Tower.)  

The Orlov Diamond, which was 300 carats when found, and was apparently stolen in India in the 1700s by a French deserter from the eye of Vishnu's idol in the innermost sanctuary temple in Sriangam.  Eventually it ended up in Amsterdam where it was bought by Count Grirogi Orlov, who gave it to his former lover, Catherine the Great of Russia, who had it mounted in the Imperial Sceptre.  It's now in the Kremlin.

The Moussaieff Red Diamond, measuring 5.11 carats and the largest red diamond in the world, it's mentioned in the novel.  (Less is said about Madame Moussaieff herself, who is the only woman working at the top of the male-dominated field of fine jewellery, and who I have always found fascinating.)

You know what?  Forget what I said at the beginning.  Diamonds like these would be anybody's best friend.  But until you can afford one, a similar pleasure can be gleaned from The Diamond Connection.  Buy it, read it.