Download E-books Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World PDF

By Aja Raden

As pleasing because it is incisive, Stoned is a raucous trip during the heritage of human hope for what's infrequent, and consequently precious.

What makes a stone a jewel? What makes a jewel useful? And why will we covet attractive issues? during this fantastic account of the way 8 jewels formed the process background, jeweler and scientist Aja Raden tells an unique and infrequently startling tale approximately our unshakeable habit to attractiveness and the darker aspect of human desire.

What strikes the realm is what strikes every one people: wish. Jewelry—which has lengthy served as a stand-in for wealth and tool, glamor and success—has birthed cultural events, introduced political dynasties, and began wars. Masterfully weaving jointly pop technology and background, Stoned breaks historical past into 3 categories—Want, Take, and Have—and explains what the diamond in your finger has to do with the GI invoice, why green-tinted jewellery has been exalted via such a lot of cultures, why the glass beads that got new york for the Dutch have been at first thought of a good exchange, and the way the French Revolution all started over a coveted necklace.

Studded with vigorous personalities and engaging info, Stoned tells the extraordinary tale of our abiding hope for the infrequent and extraordinary.

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Worth $70 million, it really is one hundred fifty carats and took a 12 months to chop. I say minimize, instead of build, as the whole ring is produced from a unmarried diamond. No steel, no different stones. only one big, multifaceted diamond, with a gap drilled via it into which a finger can be put. slicing the Shawish diamond concerned specified laser apparatus in particular designed for the duty. In that method, the Shawish diamond ring isn't really too diversified from the 1st diamond engagement ring. Like Mary of Burgundy’s ring, it used to be meant to place new expertise on reveal. So what used to be taking place in Bruges within the overdue fourteen countless numbers that was once so sparktacular? A Jewish diamond cutter, Lodewyk van Bercken, revolutionized the craft of diamond slicing with the discovery of the scaif. The scaif was once a swiftly spinning sharpening wheel. You’ve most likely heard the legend diamond is so demanding that not anything yet one other diamond can minimize it. good, not like nearly another tale approximately diamonds, that one’s really actual. The genius of the scaif is that it’s a regular grinding wheel, yet it’s been infused with oil and diamond dirt. The diamond dirt grinds away the outside of the diamond that’s being minimize. this permits for the ideal elimination of tiny, symmetrical sections of diamond. It’s the foundation of contemporary diamond slicing. all of it boils all the way down to this: Diamonds, of their ordinary country, should not a lot to examine. earlier than the final century, we lacked the know-how to mine them, so the overwhelming majority got here from alluvial deposits. that suggests they have been washed up alongside the banks of rivers, and infrequently gathered like gravel at the flooring. as a result of tough nature in their trip to the outside, they tended to be greater than a bit beat up, and infrequently had a lifeless, coarse texture. in truth, in 1908, whilst King Edward VII used to be offered with the Cullinan—the greatest uncut diamond on the earth, weighing in at 3,106 carats—he used to be unimpressed. The tough stone, which might ultimately offer the various top British crown jewels, so underwhelmed him that he acknowledged, “Had I visible it within the street, i'd have kicked it. ”* as a result of manner the carbon atoms in a diamond are locked jointly in a grid, the crystal is especially tricky to scratch, but when tapped at simply the suitable perspective it’ll holiday alongside a fresh aircraft. (In gem slicing, this is often known as “perfect cleavage. ”) the nearest factor there has been to trendy diamond slicing sooner than the Bruges invention used to be a strategy that concerned chipping away items of the stone via hitting it with anything like a chisel. This led to a couple of sharp planes being knocked off, and it can go away numerous glossy features at the diamond. It used to be higher than not anything. And it did upload a bit sparkle. however the scaif revolutionized the and made town the guts of the diamond exchange. It additionally made Bruges probably the most necessary items of actual property within the Netherlands. buying Bruges via his union with Mary of Burgundy was once an important coup for Archduke Maximillian. And the “first diamond engagement ring” used to be step one on his trip to develop into Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian.

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