The weather has been so fine after the gloominess of the past week. So, as I am still in the mood for diamonds, I give you the Cullinan family of little sparklers. Without further ado, here is a pictorial history of this magnificent chunk of pure Carbon!
The Royal Asscher Cut
Long story short: in 1999, Edward and Joop Asscher became intrigued by the possibility of improving their great-grandfather, Joseph Asscher’s 1902 design for the original Asscher Cut. Modern technology now offered fresh insight into the age old art of diamond cutting and polishing. After two years of intensive research, consultation with their master polishers and a multitude of refinements, Edward and Joop presented the Royal Asscher Cut.
Asscher Cut Facts:
- perfectly symmetrical, with proportions that fall within strict parameters; every facet is measured for absolute accuracy.
- has a high crown and 74 facets (modern square-emerald cut, and the original Asscher both have 58 facets).
- patent protected.
Just spent the weekend in the beautiful city of Melbourne, checking out vintage cars, vintage clothes, walking around looking at iconic buildings and eating really good food. I have come back totally focussed on getting together my Spring and Summer look - Vintage! I just love the easy elegance of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. For that we have to thank Mademoiselle Chanel, among others. She totally revolutionised how women dressed from the 1920s an onwards. Just to let you know what we saw down there: first day was a visit to Rippon Lea; a lovely old house in Elsternwick. They were showing an exhibit of costumes from the Australian TV series, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries. Unfortunately, no photographs were allowed to be taken within the house, so you'll get to see the costumes when you click on the following link:
The next day we popped into the Melbourne Exhibition Hall to see amazingly preserved and restored classic cars. Totally loving the old Rolls Royces, but I can easily live with Bugattis, Duesenburgs and Jaguars!
Following that was a trip to the National Gallery of Victoria to check out the Edward Steichen photography for Vogue. Plus the amazing and gorgeous couture fashions that were on display... again no photos allowed... but I found some online to show you anyway!
For an amazing breakfast, you cannot go past the Delicatessen in Brunswick Street.
Dinner requirements are cheerfully and tastefully catered for at Hell of the North in Greeves Street, behind the yellow door ... interesting name, excellent food and service.
You have probably seen cut gemstones (or synthetics) in jewellery shop windows that have a fantastical, colourful aura about them? Well, unless it is actually a naturally occurring, zillion dollar gem, anything less will probably be described as "mystic", as in mystic topaz or mystic quartz, etc.
What you probably didn't know is that these stones have been coated with a ultra-thin layer of metallic titanium.
This coating generates interference patterns in light much like oil spread on water does, leading to a rainbow of colours in the stone.
What gems do you need?
Alexandrite aligns and balances the mental, physical and emotional
Amber is harmonious and soothing, calming and cheering.
Ametrine combines the properties of amethyst and citrine
Apatite enhances creativity and stimulates the intellect
Aventurine balances the yin-yang energies
Clear Quartz (as shown above) is the energy stone and excellent for meditation
Diamond enhances the energy of the mind
Dioptase a greenish-gold stone that promotes emotional balance
Emerald promotes love and harmony, wards off negativity
Fluorite increases concentration and balances the mind
Hematite reduces stress and enhances mental capabilities
Howlite encourages patience and reduces stress
Kunzite soothes and calms; a heart-stone
Lepidolite is uplifting and balancing
Malachite balances and revitalises; clears subconscious blocks
Morganite is a heart-stone, allowing love into your life.
Sodalite Rationalises and aids clear thinking, brings clarity, truth and creative expression.
Snowflake Obsidian Enhances purity and balance, promotes re-alignment of thought patterns.
Sugilite calms and balances the emotions, instilling a sense of freedom and spiritual awareness.
Tourmalinated Quartz Aids in balancing extremes and eliminates destructive influences.
Unakite balances the emotions and gives an awareness and understanding of subconscious blocks. Can facilitate the re-birthing process.
Wulfenite is a yellow-orange stone of rejuvenation. Enhances understanding.
During the 15th and 16th centuries AD, June was considered the time when people came outdoors after a long winter and bathed communally. I guess to marry when one is clean seemed to them to be a good beginning… It is quite possible that the use of flowers at weddings was also, initially, a way of masking body odor…
June weddings also come from the Celtic calendar. Even the term “honeymoon” has an historical origin, referring to the first moon after the summer solstice – June 21 – which was called the “honey moon.”
Getting married in June, in those pre-Pill times, meant that children conceived from these unions would be born the following spring, increasing their chances of survival after the long – and often very lean – winter months. Also, Springtime births would not interfere with the fall harvest, which was the busiest time of the year for most people earning their living off the land.
Let us not forget that, until quite recently, there was nothing romantic about weddings. These were business contracts between the bride’s father and the family of the groom, with bride and groom having very little to say about them! Women were considered the property of their father, and, as such, they would be ‘given away’ by their father to the groom’s family during the wedding ceremony. In most cultures, the father also had to pay a dowry to the groom’s family. In a minority of cultures, it was the groom who had to pay a ‘bridewealth’ (the male counterpart of the dowry) to the bride’s family in order to be able to marry her.
Weddings could also be dangerous events, as a wealthy bride could be kidnapped, in order to get a handsome dowry, on her way to the ceremony, or during the ceremony itself. Bridesmaids were dressed just like the bride to confuse possible captors, and the groom’s place was on the right of the bride in order to provide him with easy access to his sword, if the situation required it…
All these examples indicate how traditions get established by a mixture of pragmatic reasons and emotional ones. On these, new traditions are superimposed, reflecting specific times and beliefs. So, today, the father often is no longer the only one who walks the bride down the isle. It is more likely that both parents walk with the bride, or the bride walks by herself. The say, “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” attests to the human tendency to value continuity and new beginnings, unity and separation.
A word to the wise: most fruit and vegetables can be processed washed and unpeeled, except for citrus, the skin of which is very bitter and will be detrimental to the taste of your juice.
1 Lebanese Cucumber
1 Pink Lady Apple
1 Large Meyer Lemon, peeled
1 Celery stalk
Small handful fresh Parsley
So, I had to go shopping for skincare products. I also had to be wary of what I was buying, being concerned about the evils of animal testing. This information will help you stay on top of what's what. Here is my go-to list for when you have to go shopping for makeup and skincare products.
Brands That Do Not Test On Animals
Brands That Test On Animals
Brands Whose Animal Testing Status is Unknown*
Maybe someone out there can let me know.
|The Gonzago Cameo|
|Really nice example of repousse work in gold|
|Greek Tetradrachma in silver|
|Sterling Silver Earrings by VIX. Floral arrangement courtesy of Denis.|
|Champagne Jelly with Tropical Fruits|
|Chocolate Mousse Cake with Candied Hibiscus Flower and Clotted Cream|
|Purple Fringed Iris|
|Diuris sulphurea aka Tiger Donkey Orchid|
|Thelymitra ixiodes aka Spotted Sun Orchid|
|Diuris punctata aka Purple Diuris, found at Penrose|
|Diuris punctata, found at Tallong|