The Cullinan diamonds belong to the British Crown, though these days it’s not only the British royal family who own the big-name diamonds. Provenances change. New diamonds come into play. One is larger or more expensive than the next, from the Taylor-Burton and the Darya-ye Noor to the Hope and the Koh-i-Noor.

Like celebrated thespians, diamonds compete for top billing. In the style of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, important men give important women important diamonds. Liz Taylor was a superstar with a diamond to match her degree of celebrity.

Diamonds are badges in the hierarchy of monied kin and their spectacle of richesse. Some wear their bijou better than others. For some they represent a promise. Diamonds are bequeathed by countries to heads of state. They are worn by rappers, queens, and swaths of women on Park Avenue. They are worn like stardust: big diamonds, little diamonds, new diamonds, old diamonds”€”ornaments for all the important people.

Yet there seems to be more to a diamond than meets the eye. More than Cut, Clarity, Carat, and Color. More than its fiscal value. Something beyond the love or beauty it seeks to enhance. They say diamonds are forever. We know they are at least a billion years old, so perhaps they are indeed eternal.

We must not forget that no two diamonds are alike, which makes each diamond special and unique. But who really cares about all that? I hear the Kardashians love them!


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