Diamonds Are Forever!

Diamonds, the most popular gemstone, have connotations of high class and sophistication. They are associated with power, success, glamour and, of course, the symbol of devoted and ever-lasting LOVE.

1477 was the first time that diamonds were documented as the material symbolism of love when Archduke Maximillian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgund using a diamond ring. This is the oldest record of these precious gemstones being used as part of a marriage proposal.

This suggestion is optimised in the cleverly crafted 1947, De Beers advertising campaign, which used the tag line ’Diamonds Are Forever’. Diamonds are indeed indestructible, they will never wear down, scratch, or be destroyed. The symbolism behind being gifted a diamond indicating that a persons love will last forever and never fade. Diamonds in a ring indicate a lifelong commitment. They will last forever and can be passed down through generations to come as a precious family heirloom.

In the 1950s Marilyn Monroe reaffirmed that ‘Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend’ in the hit movie    ’Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’. This increased their popularity furthermore. But what are the other reasons why they are known to be our ‘best friend’? 

  • They are a good investment, they can be traded at any point too.
  • They are seemingly ‘crisis-proof’ and hold value. 
  • The fact that they are highly quality controlled also makes them an even more attractive investment/purchase.

We all enjoy these glistening stones of beauty, but what do we really know about them? Let me explain a little more about these objects of desire and how they came to be! And what better place to begin than at the VERY beginning….


150-200 km below the surface of the earth, molten lamproite, and kimberlite magma combines, but the conditions have to be just right for diamonds to form. The pressure needs to be 45-60 kilobars and the heat 900-1300 degrees celsius to ensure the carbon atoms crystallise. 

The word “Diamond” comes from the Greek word “Adamas” which means “unconquerable and indestructible”. Diamonds are actually the hardest natural substance found on the Earth.

The oldest diamonds are believed to have been created around 3.3 Billion years ago, and were first discovered in India and shortly after in Brazil. South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Congo; however today, diamonds also found and mined inGuinea, Lesotho, Siera Leone, China, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Guyana, Central African Republic, Canada, and Australia. 

The top three diamonds mines in the world are: Botswana (24 million carats), Russia (17.8 million carats) and Canada (10.9 million carats).


As we now know, diamonds are billions of years old, but it is only in the last centenary that the uncut diamonds have been transomed (cut), releasing their utmost beauty and light to become the beautiful items that we all treasure.

A facet is a ‘one side of something, many-sided, especially of a cut-gem.’ (Oxford English Dictionary)

With 57 facets, the most popular diamond cut and shape is the Round Brilliant (about three-quarters of all diamonds sold are round). Also popular is the Princess Cut, a square shaped formed from a crystal shape rough diamond. We also have the Cushion Cut that has become more popular recently as new technology has emerged to enable the diamond cutters to create even more facets.

For those who like the more contemporary style, there are the Emerald and Square Emerald cuts. The shape of the diamond refers to the outlines and the cut refers to facets/shape.

As in all fields of expertise, naturally, things evolve over time with the introduction of newer technology. Diamond cutters have thus found new ways to enhance the light. Great for those who love all things shiny as new shapes have now been introduced, The Pear, Marquise, and Heart shapes are some of these. But the newest one to hit the market is the highly sought-after My Girl Diamond. This beauty is deemed to be the only diamond in the world that has the perfect balance of fire and brilliance. 

How do you start to understand contemporary art?

‘This is not a pipe.’ 

René Magritte

Modern art replaces a proportional, harmonious, perfect conception of nature and the world as a whole. 

But the world is not all right, and contemporary art shows that there are problems in and around the community. It’s an unpleasant conversation that pushes the viewer out rather than engaging the conversation. And you just have to be prepared for that.

How do you start to understand contemporary art?

Behind many piece of art, there is a phantasmagorical story. You have to know it. Otherwise, you won’t understand the meaning of the work. You have to talk to artists.

Damien Hirst

Awareness is the key: follow awards, exhibitions, biennales, art fairs, read books, listen to lectures. The secret is simply to watch more.

Ask yourself questions, study history, look for answers, assume, look for metaphors; this will develop your intuitive perception of art. 

In addition to the hidden meaning of the contemporary artworks, attention must also be paid to the materials and form.

Malevich argued that art evolves like science and technology. 

“If a traditional painter depicted a tree and tried to make a perfect copy of it, a technician would cut it down and make a chair or a bench or build a house out of it. The art of representation should have followed the technique, then we would have avoided imitation, and there would have been no art of reproduction, but an art of creation”.

Kazimir Malevich

A good example of the use of modern technology and materials is the work of Jeff Koons, who creates art objects out of polished stainless steel, weighing several tons to look like inflatable balloon toys.

Jeff Coons

But as with everything, the theory is good, but it’s probably best to start moving on to practice. 

You have to start buying art. And when you start buying, you start taking risks. And because of that risk, you have to figure out what the artist has done. And a collector who invests his time and money has to understand art. The desire to buy is linked to understanding; collectors have this intuition.

Whether you would like to frequent exhibitions of contemporary art around the world, are thinking of purchasing a truly unique piece for your home, or are already a connoisseur and collector looking to acquire a particular artist, we can accommodate requests of all types and budgets. Our partner portfolio also includes talented artists with Maltese roots. Their unique techniques as well as the depth of philosophy reflected in their work will not leave you indifferent. 

Local artist

Malta holds mysterious aesthetics that embrace the culture and traditions of a myriad of nations, originating from the prehistoric times when the Megalithic Temples were built. Those which are already in the purest form, objects of modern art.

In this unique environment, a challenging artist is currently working and residing: John Paul Azzopardi

This artist works in a variety of techniques. His works of art are painstakingly crafted from handpicked materials. The author treats everything with great seriousness. In many ways, there is not only original meaning but also the authenticity of origin. 

John Paul Azzopardi

At the Venice Biennale, it was his work, made from the bones of small animals joined together in a lace pattern, that attracted the most attention.  John Paul plays with context ranging from ancient to contemporary philosophical notions, mythological, and social critique, aiming to deliver hidden psychological structures and phenomenological tensions. 

These pieces are so intricately crafted, one can sit and look at them for hours, slowly analysing the psychological intent each section at a time.