Princess Eugenie’s Engagement Announcement Sparks the Question, ‘What’s a Padparadscha?’
Princess Eugenie’s official engagement announcement on Monday has the world asking, “What’s a padparadscha?”
You see, the 27-year-old granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II received an oval padparadscha engagement ring from her long-time boyfriend Jack Brooksbank. In the official photos released by Buckingham Palace and during a subsequent interview with the BBC, Eugenie proudly showed off her beautiful — but unusual — orange/pink stone. In an instant, the padparadscha had spawned its own storyline.
n the BBC interview, Brooksbank, 31, waxed poetic about the gem.
“What’s amazing about it and why I love it so much is that it changes color from every different angle that you look at it,” he said. “And that’s what I think of Eugenie. That she changes color.”
Eugenie’s oval padparadscha is surrounded by a halo of white diamonds and is set in yellow gold. The engagement ring design is strikingly similar to that of her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, whose ruby center stone complemented her red hair.
Called “a true Rembrandt among gemstones,” natural padparadscha is one of the rarest and most valuable varieties of sapphire.
Unlike its blue brethren, padparadscha boasts a salmon color reminiscent of the most delicate orange/pink sunset. The gem’s name is derived from “padma raga,” which literally means “the color of the lotus flower” in Sanskrit.
Padparadscha belongs to the corundum family of gemstones, which includes rubies and sapphires. The presence of trace elements determines the color of each gemstone. While blue sapphires are naturally colored with iron and rubies with chromium, padparadschas are colored by the presence of both. The delicate interplay of pink and orange hues make this gem one of nature’s greatest marvels.
An excellent example of this strikingly beautiful gemstone hit the auction block at Christie’s Hong Kong in May of 2013. The oval padparadscha weighed 73.98 carats and was framed with brilliant-cut diamonds mounted in 18-karat rose gold. The ring carried a pre-sale high estimate of $1.55 million.
Princess Eugenie and Brooksbank are expected to get married later this year and the Queen is reportedly delighted.
Credits: Interview screen captures via YouTube.com/The Royal Family Channel; Auction ring photo courtesy of Christie’s.
813-Carat ‘Constellation’ Visits Israel to Start Its Transformation Into a 350-Carat D-Flawless Polished Diamond
Swiss luxury jeweler de Grisogono has sent the 813-carat “Constellation” rough diamond to Israel to undergo the first stages of a cutting process that is expected to yield a 350-carat D-flawless polished stone — a gem that would rank as the fourth-largest faceted diamond in the world.
When he first purchased the rights to cut and polish the $63 million rough diamond from Dubai-based Nemesis International in September of 2016, the colorful founder of de Grisogono, Fawaz Gruosi, famously referred to the stone as his “princess.”
“I love her and I hate her,” he said. “Love because something like this is so exceptional — I could never dream to be able to have a stone like this in my own hands — and hate her because I don’t know how I’m going to dress her.”
Now, 15 months later, Gruosi has her attire all worked out. If all goes according to plan, the 813-carat rough — the most expensive of all time — will yield two historically significant D-flawless polished stones weighing 325 carats and 100 carats, as well as eight smaller diamonds, according to experts.
The Constellation was sent to Israel, where Diamond Laser Systems will utilize its state-of-the-art Synova Laser MicroJet to make the initial slices. The MicroJet has a laser beam guided by a hair-thin water jet. The water keeps the diamond cool during the process, minimizing the risk of damage.
Back in November of 2015, Lucara miners discovered two enormous gem-quality rough diamonds at its Karowe Mine in Botswana. The pair tipped the scales at a combined 1,922 carats. The larger of the two was the 1,109-carat “Lesedi la Rona,” which was purchased for $53 million in September by British billionaire and diamantaire Laurence Graff. The smaller of the two was the Constellation.
Both diamonds have been rated Type IIa by the Gemological Institute of America. Diamonds in this rare and coveted subgroup are chemically pure and often show extraordinary optical transparency.
The finished diamond that emerges from the Constellation will take its place among the largest and most famous faceted diamonds of all time. Currently, the top four are The Golden Jubilee (545.67 carats), The Cullinan I (530.20 carats), The Incomparable (407.48 carats) and The Cullinan II (317.4 carats). Both Cullinan diamonds were cut from the mammoth 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, which was discovered in South Africa in 1905.
Credits: Screen captures via degrisogono.com.
‘Ultra Violet’ is Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year and We’re Excited by the Possibilities
“Ultra Violet” is Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year and we’re excited by the possibilities. While Pantone says the vibrant color communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking, we see the Color Institute’s pick as a great reason to shine the spotlight on some of our favorite gemstones, including amethyst, tanzanite, iolite, spinel and violet sapphire.
We’re expecting jewelry designers to pepper their 2018 lines with ultraviolet accessories to complement the arrival of ultraviolet fashions.
A fabulous representation of “Ultra Violet” is seen in the “Tiffany Amethyst Necklace,” a piece that June Rosner and Russell Bilgore donated to the Smithsonian in 2007. The 56-carat square cushion-cut amethyst is set in an 18-karat yellow gold necklace designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, circa 1915.
Each year since 2000, the color experts at Pantone have picked a color that reflects the current cultural climate. Typically, Pantone’s selection influences the worlds of high fashion, beauty, housewares, home and industrial design and consumer packaging.
Pantone calls Ultra Violet a dramatically provocative and thoughtful shade of purple, suggesting the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead and the discoveries beyond where we are now. Pantone says Ultra Violet is nuanced and full of emotion. It’s a color that symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world and push boundaries through creative outlets.
Among the musical icons who used shades of ultraviolet to express their individuality were Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, noted Pantone.
Ultra Violet also has a calmer, spiritual side. For example, purple-tone lighting has been used in meditation spaces because the color is said to have the ability to inspire connections. Ultraviolet is also said to offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s overstimulated world.
“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. “It’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.”
The process of choosing the annual color takes about nine months, with Pantone’s trend watchers scanning the globe’s fashion runways and high-profile events for “proof points” until one color emerges as the clear winner.
A year ago, Pantone’s Color of the Year was “Greenery,” a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring.
In 2016, Pantone blended two shades — Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue — to create its 2016 Color of the Year. Together, the mineral pink and tranquil blue combined to communicate a sense of wellness and peacefulness, with a dash of gender equality.
Here are the most recent Pantone Colors of the Year…
PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery (2017)
PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016)
PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity (2016)
PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
Credits: Color of the Year images courtesy of Pantone. Tiffany Amethyst Necklace image by Chip Clark/Smithsonian.