“No gold-digging for me…I take diamonds.” Mae West
Diamonds. Marilyn sang about them, Liz collected them and Paulette Goddard swam in hers.And whether you call them bling, ice, rocks or kandi it doesn’t matter. As Bill said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Diamonds are pure, or nearly pure, extremely hard form of carbon naturally crystallized in the isometric system. In fact diamond is the hardest known naturally occurring material and is therefore used as an industrial tool to polish other materials including diamonds. The myth that you can tell a diamond if it cuts glass is a little misleading as quartz can also cut glass. Approxiamately 49 percent of diamonds originate in central and South Africa and mined rough diamonds are converted into gems through a multi-step process called “cutting”. Antwerp is called the “world diamond capital” because so many diamonds are handled there but it is in New York city that over 80 percent of them are sold. Their value is determined by the 4 c’s – carat, cut, colour and clarity. And red is the colour of the rarest diamond but even just the normal common garden variety is expensive and prices are only ever going up.
Now while all that history is good to know it isn’t what is appealing about a bit of sparkle. What is appealing though, even if what you are working with is not quite the real deal, is just how beautiful they are. How wearing them brightens up the dullest day, the dowdiest ensemble and the darkest of moods. Me – I love a bit of bling and have been known to bedeck myself with enough glitz to rival the aurora borealis. And I think part of my love affair with anything vintage is down to the rocks, the large rocks always seen on the women in some of my favourite movies. Joan Crawford may have built her career on big shoulders but always adorning those big shoulders was some piece of large kandi. And Mae, well Mae is always presented dripping with ice, no dainty demure solitaires for her. On each finger a hunk of glass to rival the next. And I think her swagger, that famous sashay, is due in part to all the extra weight she’s carrying thanks to her bling. I mean she could only move one leg at a time and slowly if she wanted to remain upright.
So to all my heroes I say that I promise to keep the torch burning brightly, to continue to shine bright like a diamond and to remember that no one ever said “I think I really prefer small diamonds.”