Chasing Rainbows

Cloaked in mystery, endowed with strange stories and healing powers, diamonds were the special reserve of the rich and royal for centuries. Over the years, however, these most coveted gems have become democratized. The supply of diamonds increased with discoveries in Brazil and Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Improved gem-cutting and jewelry-making techniques further expanded their audience. Tremendous wealth generated during the Industrial Revolution supported burgeoning interest in fashion and luxury items, as the new rich basked in the status bestowed by magnificent diamonds and fine jewelry. Museum exhibits, books, television, and films have whetted the public’s appetite for diamonds, despite a proliferation of price wars that threaten to tarnish their aura of exclusivity. Three events in the past year have reinforced the public’s fascination with the world of glittering

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