Department Of Defense Researching Diamond Properties

Department of Defense seal

The Naval Research Laboratory and the Department of Defense may seem unlikely places to conduct diamond research, but that’s exactly what’s happening. The National Research Laboratory (NRL) has conducted research of the “chemical vapor deposition” in diamonds as it relates to Department of Defense technologies since 1987. And now, the NRL has partnered with the Smithsonian to more fully understand the properties that make up natural colored diamonds.

Many rare colored diamonds are on loan to the Smithsonian, which has granted access to the NRL. The defects and impurities of the colored diamonds lend them their color and are of primary interest to NRL and the Smithsonian as well as the Department of Defense. Among the more famous diamonds being scrutinized are the “Hope” and “Blue Heart” diamonds and 240 fancy colored diamonds from the Aurora Butterfly collection.”Understanding these unique colored natural diamonds provides knowledge useful to both technologists and gemologists,” said NRL researcher James Butler. “A better understanding of these defects and impurities allows us to tailor the materials properties of diamond materials: from electrically insulating to semiconducting; from optically transparent to a variety of colors; or to provide the isolated quantum states for quantum cryptography or quantum computing.”

The researchers are also focusing on rare pink diamonds. The cause for the pink color, it has been determined, is “contained in narrow colored lamellae in an otherwise clear matrix of diamond.” Researchers hope to use their deeper understanding of colored diamonds to assist in new technologies for the Department of Defense.

Academy Awards Best Actress Nominee Wows Audience With Incredible Diamonds

Carey Mulligan and Colin Firth at the Academy Awards

Carey Mulligan, Best Actress nominee at this year’s Oscar Awards, wowed red carpet gawkers Sunday with an incredible suite of diamonds. Although she did not walk away with an Oscar statuette, she walked the path of victory in her choice of fashion and accenting gems. Mulligan did not wear a necklace, but her earrings and ring made a splash at the ceremony.

British-born Mulligan was nominated for her role in “An Education” which earned her high praise and has garnered buzz that Mulligan may be the next “it girl”. Her Oscar jewelry choice included 19th-century cascading diamond and diamond briollette earrings. She also wore a pear-shaped Everlon Diamond Knot ring, weighing in at 2.5 carats. Her jewelry came courtesy of Fred Leighton.

“These earrings came in to our collection a week before the Oscars and from the moment we saw them, we knew they were for Carey,” said Rebecca Selva a Fred Leighton representative. Mulligan led the ranks of other young starlets showing their individual style through their red carpet choices.

“This year, we saw the emergence of a new generation of actors who have embraced their individuality,” said Jamie Cadwell, the director of the Diamond Information Center. “They are using the red carpet to express their personal styles. Whether vintage-inspired or very modern, we are seeing diamonds used in an exciting variety of ways.”

Diamond Store Robbery Carried Out By Thieves With Sledgehammer

Image of robber from surveillance video

The “King of Bling” has been involved in a robbery. In early March, two masked men stormed in to the Diamond Depot, a Philadelphia area jewelry store, and smashed their way in to a jewelry case. The self-titled store owner, whose real name is Ron Alia, has sold gems to celebrities like Queen Latifah and Jamie Foxx. But it was two unnamed thieves who have made the biggest impression on him. Alia watched helplessly as the men ran in to his store, one brandishing a sledgehammer.

The Diamond Depot, a store located in the Franklin Mills mall, is equipped with surveillance cameras that captured the heist. One robber smashed the glass with the sledgehammer while the other, holding a red, checkered bag, snatched the goods. Among the stolen items, valued at over $90,000, were Brietling watches with 25-carat diamond bezels, gold chains and gem-encrusted dog tags.

The robbery took place at 11a.m. on a Sunday morning. As Alia showed a ring to a customer, the brash robbers made their dash for his jewels.

“It was crazy,” Alia said. “I turned around and all I saw were the two heads, with ski masks on, and they’re banging in to the case with a sledgehammer.”

Alia and one of his employees both hit panic buttons, sounding an alarm. This was not enough to completely deter the robbers, though they fled the scene three minutes after.

Alia has plans to step up security of his stores after a similar robber took place at another branch of the Diamond Depot previously.

Sothesby’s To Auction Rare Red Diamond

Natural, red colored diamond

Sothesby’s plans to auction off a rare, red diamond ring on April 12. The sale will feature antique as well as contemporary jewelry, but the most highly anticipated piece from the auction is this rare red diamond. It is the first of its kind to be offered up in public auction in Australia.

The diamnd is a 0.82, fancy-grade purple-red Argyle diamond. The platinum ring in to which it is set features fancy-grade blue diamonds on either side and all three gorgeous stones are surrounded by brilliant-cut white diamonds. This antique ring is valued at 700,000 to 1million Australian dollars and is accompanied by a letter from Argyle Diamonds which attests to the rarity of the thing.

Argyle Diamonds, according to their website, “is one of the worlds largest suppliers of diamonds, producing approximately 20 million carats each year from its operations in the East Kimberley region, in the remote north of Western Australia. The Argyle Diamond Mines Joint Venture (ADMJV) was established in 1982 to own and finance the Argyle mine. The development and operation of the mine is governed by a State Agreement. Argyle Diamonds is 100 per cent owned and managed by Rio Tinto Limited.

Argyle commenced mining its main ore body in 1985, and has since produced more than 760 million carats of diamonds.”

According to a Sothesby’s press release, “less than a handful of red diamonds have been discovered.” To many diamond connoisseurs, a red diamond is nearly priceless, a belief which makes this upcoming auction all the more exciting.

Israeli Diamond Institute Partners With Far East At Hong Kong Jewelry Show

Exhibitor Prepares For Hong Kong Jewelry Show

The Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI)will make its mark in the Hong Kong International Jewelry Show this March. The IDI plans to have not only its largest showing to date, but it will also be the largest national pavilion at the show this year.

Israel plans to bring 60 companies to exhibit at the pavilion, signaling Israel’s great interest in trade with Hong Kong.

Hong Kong represents a large share of the market for Israel’s polished diamonds and the two countries expect a continued rise in business. Israel exported $1.043 billion in polished diamonds to Hong Kong in 2009.

“For many years, we have developed excellent relations with diamond companies in Hong Kong and other parts of the Far East,” IDI chairman Moti Ganz said. “This will certainly develop as these markets are showing impressive growth. We see the Far East as the direction of the future for Israeli diamond companies and we are working hand in hand with the industry to promote these efforts.”

The show takes place from March 5 to March 9 and will signify Israel’s focus on the Far East as its most promising business venture.

“China has evolved into an independent market for luxury goods and jewelry, with a great amount of wealth being created,” Ganz said. “In the coming years, we believe that China will become an important consumer of polished diamonds and we are focusing our marketing strategy on developing this as well as other markets.”

Saturday Night Live’s Lost Diamond

Saturday Night Live! has a longstanding reputation for bringing laughter to its audiences. On a night in March, however, the show brought one New York City woman to tears. Bree Candee attended a rehearsal of the long-standing comedy show to celebrate her 36th birthday. After enjoying the taping with her husband and friends, she dined at the trendy Nobu 57 restaurant. While dining with her friend, however, she noticed the 4-carat diamond was missing from her wedding ring.

She and husband Brian searched frantically for the diamond, as did the restaurant’s staff, but the search proved fruitless. Brian then phoned Saturday Night Live staging director Tom Popple, whom the couple had met earlier in the day. Popple informed the desperate husband, “Brian, I’m holding it in my hand as we speak.” Popple apparently found the ring under the seat that Bree had occupied.Brian, 35, felt utter relief and joy at the news. “It’s like winning the lottery. You can’t believe it.”

Bree was “still shaking” as Brian secured the diamond from Saturday Night Live’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza building and later placed it in her hand.”It’s one of my favorite things,” Bree said. “I wake up in cold sweats dreaming that I’m going to lose my ring – and the funny thing is, I did.”