Diamond Books Cover Rough and Colored

Two new books on diamonds cover both ends of the processing spectrum: the finished product and just-out-of-the-rock rough.

The famous Aurora Collection-260 fancy colored diamonds-is now featured in Forever Brilliant: The Aurora Collection of Colored Diamonds, published by Ashland Press Inc., New York. The collection has been assembled over the past 20 years by noted colored diamond expert Alan Bronstein and has been on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City since 1989. Originally photographed by Tino Hammid for Classifying and Collecting Coloured Diamonds, the definitive work by Stephen Hofer on all fancy colored diamonds, the Aurora Collection stands alone in Forever Brilliant, highlighted by introductions from Bronstein, American Museum of Natural History curator George E. Harlow, and author/historian Janet Zapata.

The Aurora Collection encompasses the entire color spectrum of diamonds, including black and white (not colorless).

Forever Brilliant is available for $39.95 at book stores. For further information, contact Ashland Press, 589 Fifth Ave., #806, New York, NY 10017; (212) 355-1480, e-mail: auroracollection@home.com.

Rough Diamonds: A Practical Guide, by Nizam Peters, founder and director of the American Institute of Diamond Cutting (AIDC), shows jewelers the origin of that beautifully faceted diamond in their showcase. With large close-up photographs detailing the uniqueness of rough diamond crystals, Peters takes the reader through the steps required to create a polished diamond.

Not much has been written about evaluating rough diamonds. In the past, grading rough has been left to apprentices who learn firsthand from master diamond cutters, who learned through their own apprenticeships or through trial and error. Now, anyone who picks up Rough Diamonds can glean some insight into what manufacturers must do to end up with salable cut goods.

This is not just a coffee table book for retailers who are mildly interested in rough. Even manufacturers seem to be more interested in the grading and evaluating of rough, especially in the New York cutting district. Price for rough is critical to making a profit, and the U.S. rough market is less structured than, for example, the Antwerp cutting industry. Rough Diamonds is an excellent tool to train manufacturing staff who might be unfamiliar with the details of evaluating rough diamond crystals.

Peters focuses on examining rough to determine the end product. For the jeweler, it’s an education in appreciation of the cutter. For the cutter, it’s a step-by-step picture book with details showing how to best utilize the rough.

Rough Diamonds: A Practical Guide is distributed through AIDC, 1287 E. Newport Center Dr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442; (800) 831-8470, e-mail: diamondcutting@worldnet.att.net.