Africa’s golden hues

Of all the rare diamonds in the world, South Africa steals the show with its rare and exotic natural fancy yellow diamonds.

It is something of a miracle that in the turmoil of earth in creation billions of years ago, something as exquisite as a diamond is born in darkness, deep within the earth’s mantle. Few diamonds of exceptionally high quality will make the cut for jewellery. It is only when the discerning eye of the collector sees the potential in a gemstone and the hand of a master craftsman releases its light, that a diamond realises its full beauty and arguably, its true purpose: to symbolise love, to celebrate life and recall special moments.

While colourless diamonds, revered for their scintillation and cool brilliance, still capture the majority of attention, the earth has in store even rarer treasures.

South Africa is the main source of the world’s most beautiful natural fancy yellow diamonds and, in particular, the ‘sunburst’ natural fancy yellow diamonds from the West Coast and Orange River regions. These are diamonds made for the limelight; from light to vivid shades, natural fancy yellow diamonds, graded according to the intensity of their colour, are difficult to craft and need the vision of an expert to unleash their maximum brilliance and colour.

But the first step that culminates in a spectacular piece of jewellery lies in the expert sourcing of the diamond. Shimansky, leading jewellers in the industry, create an unbroken and integral chain directly from the mine itself, which begins with a special viewing and selection process, and ends in their in-house design studio where expert craftsmen create a setting of the highest quality. The challenge, met over and over by Yair Shimansky, is to balance the warmth and exoticism of the stone with the precious metal in which it is set. The natural fancy yellow diamond is in itself a bold statement; the design, the cut and the polish in expert hands must then present the piece for maximum impact.

Today’s rare and natural fancy yellow diamonds are ‘descendants’ of legendary finds, making them even more desirable: the Tiffany Yellow Diamond discovered in South Africa in 1878 was cut into a cushion shape of 128.51 carats and designed into a piece that almost eclipsed Audrey Hepburn when she wore it for a publicity shoot for Breakfast at Tiffany’s; the canary yellow Red Cross Diamond, which weighed 205.07 carats, was found in Kimberley in 1901… but the present owner remains a mystery; The Oppenheimer is a magnificent 253.7-carat stone, one of the largest in the world. Discovered in South Africa in the mid-’60s, it remains today in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC in homage to financier and philanthropist Sir Ernest Oppenheimer.

Extraordinarily rare and mesmerising, natural fancy yellow diamonds sparkle with the most magical golden hues. Capturing the warmth of the South African sun, these valuable stones are extremely rare, making them highly sought after. In Yair Shimansky’s words, ‘A natural fancy yellow diamond is your very own piece of the South African sun that remains with you wherever you go.’ 

Visit Shimansky for more information.

Original article by Les Aupiais shortened for online publication

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