Brilliance And Fire: A Biography Of Diamonds

Paperback | June 6, 2017

byRachelle Bergstein

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From the author of Women from the Ankle Down comes a lively cultural biography of diamonds, which explores our society’s obsession with the world’s most brilliant gemstone and the real-world characters who make them shine.

“A diamond is forever.” Who among us doesn’t recognize this phrase and, with it, the fascination that these shiny gemstones hold in our collective imagination as symbols of royalty, stars, and eternal love? But who gave us this catchphrase? Where do these gemstones and their colorful legacies originate? How did they become our culture’s symbol of engagement and marriage? Why have they retained their coveted status throughout the centuries?

Rachelle Bergstein’s cultural biography of the diamond illuminates the enticing, often surprising story of our society’s enduring obsession with the hardest gemstone—and the people who have worked tirelessly to ensure its continued allure. From the South African mines where most diamonds have been sourced since the late 1890s to the companies who have fought to monopolize them; from the stars who have dazzled in them to the people behind the scenes who have carefully crafted our understanding of their value—Brilliance and Fire offers a glittering history of the world’s most coveted gemstone and its greatest champions and most colorful enthusiasts.

Brilliance and Fire is illustrated with 16 pages of color photographs.

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From the Publisher

From the author of Women from the Ankle Down comes a lively cultural biography of diamonds, which explores our society’s obsession with the world’s most brilliant gemstone and the real-world characters who make them shine.“A diamond is forever.” Who among us doesn’t recognize this phrase and, with it, the fascination that these shiny g...

From the Jacket

“A diamond is forever.” Who among us doesn’t recognize this slogan and, with it, the fascination that diamonds hold in our collective imagination as emblems of royalty, glamor, and eternal love? Rachelle Bergstein’s cultural biography illuminates the enticing, often surprising story of our society’s enduring obsession with diamonds—and...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.86 inPublished:June 6, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062323784

ISBN - 13:9780062323781

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“If style defines the woman, and shoes a woman’s style, then ooh la la, here’s the definitive history and guide—everything from Chinese bound feet to Ferragamo, from Hollywood favorites to running up one’s credit card on the sine qua non of fashion and inventiveness of the people behind Tiffany, Cartier, Bulgari and others as they made a very common gemstone into the most coveted rock in the world…Ms. Bergstein’s cheerful, chatty approach is refreshing..”