Jewellery trends may come and go, but diamonds are forever. That’s the message in Diamonds: Diamond Stories, a glossy new coffee table book that’s guaranteed to catch the magpie eye of any would-be Elizabeth Taylors out there. The Dame, of course, features prominently, as do other legendary diamond lovers such as Marilyn Monroe, as well as modern fans from supermodel Kate Moss to hip-hop god Offset.
British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, who wrote the foreword for the book, recalls selecting a pair of diamond earrings for Oprah Winfrey for her milestone British Vogue cover in 2018. “Here was the world’s most influential woman of color portrayed through the old world lens of haute couture, swathed in majestic taffeta ruffles and Buccellati earrings that told a thousand tales,” he writes. “At their core were diamonds, the universal symbol of authority and luxury, now serving that same purpose in the age of inclusivity.”
As well as diving into the history behind some of the world’s most famous jewels – from the Beau Sancy diamond, which has been bewitching jewelry lovers since the 17th century, to the legendary fancy yellow Tiffany diamond most recently seen on Beyoncé – the book, a collaboration between Assouline and the Natural Diamond Council, also spotlights the new crop of young designers incorporating diamonds into their work in unexpected ways.
Jewelry designer Anita Ko, who provided the stacking rings worn by Billie Eilish in her internet-breaking British Vogue cover shoot, can trace her own obsession with diamonds back to her childhood. “My mother and grandmother both loved and collected jewelry, and I remember sitting in my grandmother’s bed and trying on a big, beautiful new necklace. I’d cry hysterically and refuse to take it off. I was always fascinated by the light of the diamonds and how beautiful they made you feel, even as a child.”
Below, see just a handful of the diamond-lovers featured in Diamonds: Diamond Stories, available now at Assouline.com.