Investing in diamonds might be a luxury that entices few, but those with an insurmountable penchant for the brilliant stones wouldn’t be able to pass up the opportunity to indulge in a start-to-finish tour of where they come from. In a unique and one-of-its-kind endeavour, Ellerman House of Cape Town, South Africa, has taken luxury travel to a whole new level. The hotel, an epitome of extravagance in the continent, has teamed with Benguela Diamonds to offer a diamond safari for up to six guests staying at their premises.
The exclusive package includes private airfare and road transportation to the diamond diving site, unmatched food and beverage that features the hotel’s signature ‘Dom Perignon Experience’ and first-hand learning of the source of diamonds. It is purported to be a one-day trip that starts with a limousine pick-up from the Ellerman House for an early morning private charter flight from Cape Town to Port Nolloth. An hour-and-fifteen-minutes-long journey later, guests will be served breakfast and drinks and presented with the day’s itinerary.
Benguela’s expert sorting team teaches guests about the grading of diamonds. Image Courtesy of www.ellerman.co.za
The diamond which has made not only headlines but history as the largest diamond discovered in more than a century, failed to sell at Sotheby’s London, despite a $70m estimate. Unearthed in Botswana in November last year by Lucara Diamond Corp., the 1,109 carat rough diamond known as Lesedi La Rona, which means Our Light in the Tswana language of Botswana, is the second largest diamond ever discovered. At the auction held on 29 June, the final bid came in at $61m – far under the reserve price – failing to secure the stone. During the last few minutes of the auction, the head of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, David Bennett tried to solicit a higher bid without success.
Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s
Given that it is the second largest rough of gem quality ever to be found (The Cullinan was the largest), and its smaller cousin, the Constellation from the same mine in Botswana sold in May 2016 for $63m, this diamond, which is 36% bigger than the Constellation, should have far exceeded the Constellation’s per carat price of $77.6k, reaching at least $86m to match, explains 77Diamonds.com managing director Tobias Kormind. “Perhaps diamond cutters have assessed the rough and aren’t convinced they can get a large enough single diamond out of it to make it worth a higher price.”
“Yet this contradicts pre-auction rumours that the rough is likely to yield a 400+ct D Flawless diamond, which would be the largest purest diamond in existence and likely to fetch in excess of $200m (larger than the current record holder – The Centenary Diamond, a 273ct Heart Shaped D Flawless stone),” he clarifies.
So, the world is left wondering what will happen to the diamond now: “Lucara will need to wait and then go back to the diamond polishers to try to sell it privately. The format of a public auction will probably not be used any time soon to sell another large rough. The market may have reached a tipping point and demand for large rare stones might just be saturated or the market instability with Brexit may have just caused this to be a case of bad timing.” Whatever may come of the diamond, one cannot deny the finding has been historical and fascinating to follow.
The Summer season is a time for festivals, BBQs, Pimms, garden parties and of course, weddings! Nobody wants to have to get married in the pouring rain, despite how delightfully British it seemed in Richard Curtis’s latest flick About Time. We suspect the reality of reading one’s vows in the midst of a gushing torrent might be somewhat less charming. So, your calendars are bound to be packed full of weddings over the next few months, all of which will have been timed to ensure that the sun is shining.
This lovely weather gives way to a plethora of wonderful venues – all of which require specific attire and of course, a specific piece of sparkling jewellery to match. Here are our recommendations to ensure you are the most stylish wedding guest this Summer (without upstaging the bride of course!).
The Country House Wedding
Nothing exudes romance quite like the stunning English countryside. Unsurprisingly then, more and more of us are forgoing exotic trips abroad and embracing the local land we have been blessed with in the UK. With luxury country hotels popping up all over, curated by some of the best interior designers in the world, countryside weddings are more decadent than ever.
Such decadence demands elegance of the highest form, so why not pair our stunning Lumiere earrings in white gold with your gown of choice. We love the diamond drop look paired with a simple pastel coloured knee length dress like the one below from Coast. The off-the-shoulder look is incredibly flattering and will give your ears a chance to shine. Plus, the pale pink shade will go perfectly with the gorgeous flowers you will be surrounded by (countryside weddings tend to make the most of the outdoors, so the likelihood is that you’ll be sitting in a beautiful flower garden) as you try your best to hold back the tears.
Ideal Location: Think Soho House’s Sommerset hideaway Babington House or the decadent yet traditional Chewton Glen in New Forest.
Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s
The Lesedi La Rona is not just another massive rock – it is historical. A discovery of a lifetime, the 1109ct stone is the largest diamond found in over a century and the second largest diamond ever unearthed. Approximately 2.5 to 3 billion plus years old, the rough diamond, about the size of a tennis ball, will be up for auction at Sotheby’s London on 29 June.
The “light” of Botswana (Lesedi La Rona means “Our Light” in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana), measuring approximately 66.4 x 55 x 42 mm, was unearthed at the Karowe mine in Botswana by the Lucara Diamond Corp. in November 2015. The rough diamond, which is said to be of exceptional transparency and quality, is estimated to fetch about $70 million at the forthcoming auction.
You may know the lovely Becky from her site Diamonds in the Library. Becky describes herself as ‘a lady with a love for literature and shiny things’, as an English literature grad with an excessive diamond addiction, it felt only right for me (also an English literature grad) to find out a little more about her love of all things bejewelled.
The beautiful Becky Stone
The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and all seems bright and beautiful as we finally see the end of a bitterly chilly Winter and settle into Spring. If we hark back to September’s Spring Summer 16 shows, it’s unsurprising to see so many floral patterns adorning the catwalks.
The Giorgio Armani show featured an array of colourful, bold floral patterns such as the one embroidered onto this elegant strapless dress. The flowery pattern is suggested rather than explicitly exhibited, not only does this make the dress more wearable than something with giant daisies stuck all over it, but it brings originality to what some would call an exhausted trend.
It’s not just on the catwalks where flowers are making an appearance this season, this and other stories two piece is a perfect example of how luxury high street brands are incorporating the trend into their collections in new and interesting ways. The halter-style top paired with the mid-length skirt adds a fresh elegance to the unique floral print.
For me, flowers have always and will always be on trend around Spring time and why should we limit our adherence to this trend to our clothing?
Our fleur ring in white gold is the perfect Spring accessory, delicate enough to be worn in the day time and sparkly enough to make a statement over cocktails in the evening. Let the sparkles be the centre of attention by pairing this with a simple knee length sleeveless black dress like the one below. Throw a classic black biker jacket over the top and pop on some strappy black heels to take you straight from the office to happy hour.
Instagram: @rovertour / ARMANI
How to wear it: Picnic
As soon as the sun comes out in London, the parks become a mass of foraging picnic-goers with baskets full of finger sandwiches, scones and of course, no British picnic would be complete without gallons and gallons of Pimms.
Of course, what you wear is just as important as what you munch so take a read of our favourite looks for every type of picnic you might be heading to this month.
The casual one in the park
When dining outside in the glorious yet infamously unreliable English weather, it’s imperative to layer up so you are prepared for rain or shine. This collared All Saints coat is the perfect subtle shade of lilac to lure you away from darker, wintery tones and into the lighter pastels of Spring. Pair with a light-knit jumper like the one below and a funky pair of round sunnies to protect your beautiful eyes from the Sun.
Take this simple look to the next level by tying your hair up, leaving your ears and neck on show, making way for our jaw-droppingly stunning Olympia drop earrings. The trio of hoops ooze elegance and add a sparkly shimmer to the outfit. Plus, the combination of yellow, rose and white gold gives them an interesting and original appearance.
To complete your picnic look, why not take along of lovely large bottle of Britain’s finest Pimms with some fresh strawberries, cucumber and mint leaves…is your mouth drooling already?
Men can be incredibly hard to shop for. Do you go for the classic leather wallet? What about the fancy shaving kit? Or perhaps you just want to take them out for burger and be done with it. It’s a tricky one that is thankfully made much easier with our eclectic range of cufflinks – phew! Give your husband, boyfriend, uncle or father the shiny treat they deserve with one of these lovely sets.
For the lover in your life
Out of all the men in your life, us ladies are always most nervous about what to get our boyfriends, fiancés and husbands (hopefully you only have to please one of them). You can’t exactly go down the soppy romantic route and buy them an abundant bouquet of red roses. You need something that compliments their personality and their impeccable sense of style. That’s why our cube cufflinks in white gold are just the thing; simple and classic, they are perfect for anyone looking to keep things understated and chic.
Of course, the gift giving doesn’t have to stop there, pair them with a clean crisp white shirt like the one below and encourage them to wear a fabulous velvet jacket and black bow tie over the top – although, maybe don’t use the word fabulous as a selling point! Men are complicated creatures, you know.
- Cube Diamond Cufflinks from 77 Diamonds: SHOP HERE
I love buying presents for people. There is nothing like seeing the smile on your best friend’s face when you’ve nailed their birthday present. The gift of giving is truly wonderful and there is no better way of making your loved ones feel special than with sparkly diamonds.
Whether it’s a birthday, wedding anniversary or just a Tuesday – spoil the lovely ladies in your life with one of these gorgeous pieces and you’ll feel like their fairy godmother!
For your best friend
The beautiful Belle ring is perfect for your best gal pal, it’s delicate and subtle enough for everyday-wear but sparkly enough to make a statement in the evenings. Pair this with an indulgently large bottle of champagne and settle in for a night of fun.
Finally some sunshine! Spring is definitely here, the temperatures are rising and colour is slowly creeping back into our lives. I’m usually a fairly ‘all black everything’ kinda gal but I realise it’s a little morbid to soak up the London sunshine dressed as if you’re going to a wake.
So, how do I add colour into my life? Well firstly, there’s red lipstick. Always key. But most importantly, it’s obviously coloured jewellery! It’s the best way to slowly start incorporating brightness into your daily looks – particularly if you’re not quite ready to dig out the short floaty summer dresses yet (bare legs can be an atrociously daunting prospect after six months of indulging your inner Godzilla with thick tights and jeans!)
I’m a massive fan of combining coloured stones with muted pieces from my wardrobes, the simplicity of whites, greys and pastels can be totally transformed by one or two pieces of jewellery. They scream eccentricity and elegance at the same time and now that we are finally edging towards Summer there is no better time to indulge your inner colourful sparkly fantasies with some of these beautiful diamonds.
This Vogue ring deserves attention – it’s bright fuschia colour will set you apart from the crowd and will undoubtedly be the star of the show in any day-time outfit.
Pair it with a simple, loose-fitting sheer white shirt and jeans for a fresh and sexy Summer look.