I just read the best book all about DIAMONDS and I’m delighted to be able to offer free copies to five of you! This fabulous read is Brilliance and Fire, by Rachelle Bergstein, and if you enjoy Diamonds in the Library at all this book is going to rock your world.
It’s totally our kind of reading material, my darlings. First I’ll tell you a bit more about it, and then we’ll have our giveaway!
When I heard Brilliance and Fire described as “A Biography of Diamonds,” I didn’t know what to expect. Would it be a technical overview of developments in stone-cutting? A chatty collection of spotlights on famous diamonds throughout history? Would it be silly, or well-researched?
The reality was better than I even imagined.
Brilliance and Fire reads like an anthropological exploration of the role that diamonds play in our contemporary culture and how these shiny rocks came to fill the role that they do in our lives. It spotlights famous diamonds, famous collectors, and an in-depth examination in how diamond-focused traditions and attitudes have evolved over time. Bergstein considers societal shifts, economic fluctuations, diamond companies’ behind the scenes machinations and more in her quest to trace how we came to feel the way we feel about diamonds.
The tone is friendly but not condescending, intellectual but still accessible. Rather than simply relating history, Bergstein brings the historical characters to life in well-researched vignettes that keep the reading experience lively and dynamic. Would you have loved to be in the room when Pierre Cartier first showed Evalyn Walsh McLean an unusual diamond named Hope? Bergstein brings that scene – and many others – to life.
Brilliance and Fire taught me things I never knew about the history of diamonds, both by filling in details about the figures I already love and introducing me to completely new tidbits, like the fascinating tale of half-nude scientist Henri Lemonine, who tricked DeBeers into believing he had perfected synthetic diamonds in 1905. I had no idea that diamond slingers have been seeing the threat of man-made diamonds as potentially imminent for more than 100 years.
Brilliance and Fire doesn’t ignore the darker side of diamonds either: there’s a whole chapter on conflict stones, the development of the Kimberley Process, and experts’ thoughts on how an ethically minded shopper can make the right diamond-related choices.
Do you want to read Brilliance and Fire yet? Good – because I have the great pleasure of offering FREE paperback copies to five of you.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
All you need to do to enter is sign into the widget above with your email address and complete at least one of the actions. You only need to do one to be eligible, but you can do as many as you want if you’d like to give yourself an edge with extra entries.
Please note that this giveaway is US-only and will be open for one week. I’ll email all five of the winners once the giveaway has ended; winners must reply to my email with a mailing address within 7 days or they will forfeit their win and a new winner will be chosen.
A huge thank you to Rachelle Bergstein for sending me a copy of her wonderful book for review, and to both Rachelle and Harper Collins for offering us all 5 copies of Brilliance and Fire for this giveaway!
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John Winkle says
Brilliance Fire is such a nice-to-read book. I have been through a lot of its reviews and thinking to read it asap.
It really is great! I highly recommend it.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Custom Jacket Maker says
Such an amazing piece of article. A useful thought and productive information shared. This article easily understandable and communicative to others.
Jared Leto Joker Leather coat says
I think that a stone with a personally important love story outshines a big flashy stone any day. <3
Ron Yates says
Thanks for the heads up on this book. I am looking forward to grabbing a copy and reading it. I love history and love gemstones, so this one looks perfecto!
Yay! It’s such a good one. I bet you’ll love it.
Rina Lou says
I don’t have diamonds in my jewelry box yet, but for me, every book is related to my passion, which is jewelry and the history of jewelry.
My favourite diamond has to be the one in my engagement ring, it’s a grey diamond so has lots of flaws but that’s what makes it special and mine. It’s like looking into a whole mini universe.
It sounds wonderful, Kirsty!! I love diamonds with personality.
Robyn Hawk says
My favorite diamond is a new book to add to my gem & jewelry library – I just finished the new edition of the Secrets of the Gem Trade and I need something new to read….
A++++ for that answer!! I still need to get my hands on Secrets of the Gem Trade. Did you love it?
Funnily enough I never used to like diamonds until a few years ago. Modern diamonds just are not attractive to me. Then I discovered antique and vintage diamonds and I fell in love. Earlier this year for my birthday I treated myself to an early 1900s enamel and closed back cushion cut diamond ring. It is mY most Valuable and treasured piece in my collection.
Ooooh, your birthday ring sounds incredible!!!
Love your blog!
Thank you so much, Wendy!!
Betsy Tinsley says
My favorite diamond is in a necklace my husband surprised me with on our wedding day. His grandmother had a necklace with 15 diamonds in it that his grandfather had given her. She had it split up and gave three to each of her five children, and one of those became mine!
Oh, how wonderful!! I love jewelry that carries family stories.
Veer Akarshan says
It must be such an interesting book
It’s great! I highly recommend it.
I received my first book on Diamonds when i was 12 for Christmas. It was $40, that was a small fortune back in ’71, so I asked Santa for it. I still have it, very well loved and read.
That sounds amazing! Do you remember the title of the book?
i try to sign in but keep getting
Oh no! Please email me if you keep having trouble – it’s Becky@DiamondsintheLibrary.com.
I love a good Old European Cut. I think I mostly love them because of the history, but I also love that each one if unique.
Yum – I love Old Euros, too. They have so much personality!
It must be such an interesting book, can’t wait to read! 😉
It really is great – you won’t be disappointed!
Princess cuts are my favorite. Then old mine cuts. Just imagining the journey of the diamond over time and the history it will make and has made is heart warming.
I love French cuts the best, although old mine cuts and antique cushion cuts are up there too. I can’t choose just one particular diamond, there’s so many fantastic ones out there! In my every day life, I am most fond of the. 20 ct cushion cut residing in my gypsy ring. So much sparkle! It always makes me smile.
You’re a lady after my own heart, as always, Lydia! You know I love the old and slightly unusual ones too.
My favorites are the reddish, yellow and pink-purple rose cuts I’ve been using in the engagement rings I’ve made recently. Oh and a big bronze metalic-looking one I used in a gold ring recently! That was probably my personal favorite! I like the “industrial” ones so much because each is so unique and has so much personality. My most recent bride said she felt like she was picking a puppy from a litter! That was cute and made me giggle. I like the rose-cuts and old mine cuts because they glow and shimmer rather than sparkle and I find it romantic and beautiful.
Oh I love the puppy comparison!!
Suzy Q says
The red diamond I saw in the Natural History Museum in DC. Loved it!
Oooh, aren’t red diamonds incredible?? Hard to believe they just come into being like that. So rare.
Debbie Fluehr says
My favorite is the diamond from my former engagement ring. It is around 0.65 points and emerald cut. While obviously not large, it is truly exquisite; clear and perfectly cut.
I think that each diamond has its own personality – sometimes it’s not the largest stones that captivate us, but those that have a special something to them.
I’m not sure I have a specific favorite diamond. I was never that into diamonds, however after finding some of the gem community on Instagram, I am definitely into them now! I love the strong lines of an emerald or carre cut. I love the soft light of a rose cut. These three cuts never were a part of my understanding before and now I can’t get enough of them when I see them!
Yes, I love this comment! Slightly unusual cuts tend to be my favorite, too.
Jaenice Palmer says
I want to read this book. This is definitely something I would pick up on a whim, the while justifying it to myself as random research (shh, you never know when you’ll be struck by divine inspiration!). And then I’d tell my more jewelry-minded friends about it, of course.
I have no favorite diamonds. While I do admire a beautifully cut stone of respectable size and quality, I will throw all such considerations out the window if the jeweler marries craftsmanship, wit, and whimsy in the same piece–size and other indications of wealth be damned. This is for certain why, if given a choice between Black, Starr & Frost and Paul Flato, I will always remain loyal to Flato; he suits more occasions and does it better, with greater imagination and flair.
That said, Flato did lend out some pieces to Katharine Hepburn for her role in Holiday (then a flop, now considered a classic), including some of his “sign language” brooches, an en esclavage with small white diamonds, and a yellow diamond starburst brooch. Love that brooch–in the film, Hepburn uses it to pin a wisp of white chiffon to the shoulder of a dark dress, pairing it with the en esclavage around her neck. It looks divine. I often wish the so-called modern icons were as daring. Ah, well…we can always dream!
I have two favorite diamonds. The first is the one my grandfather proposed to my grandmother with. The second is the one with which my husband proposed. They aren’t huge or flashy, but they are beyond beautiful.
I think that a stone with a personally important love story outshines a big flashy stone any day. <3