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Calif. museum to highlight historical diamonds

February 27, 2014


The “Regent” diamond (140.64 carats) is said to be one of the most perfectly cut diamonds since it took shape in the early 1700s. Pictured here is its replica made in cubic zirconia by Scott Sucher, which will be displayed with Marie Antoinette's figure.

Click through this gallery to see more of the diamond replicas that will be showcased at the “Diamonds Are Forever” exhibit.

Ventura, Calif.--The Museum of Ventura County in California will hold an exhibit this summer to showcase replicas of some of history’s most famous diamonds alongside their equally famous owners.

“Diamonds Are Forever” will run from May 2 to Aug. 24. It will trace the histories of the stones, featuring cubic zirconia replicas made by diamond replicator Scott Sucher displayed side-by-side with models of the historical figures who possessed them created by artist-historian George Stuart.

The replicas and figures involved will include the following:
-- The French Blue (better known as the Hope) Diamond, exhibited with Louis XIV and Louis XV
--Regent with Marie Antoinette 
--Beau Sancy with Marie De Medici
--Mirror of Portugal with Queen Elizabeth I
--Orlov with Catherine the Great
--Koh-i-Noor with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert 

Stuart also will introduce a new historical figure that was created just for the exhibition to be displayed alongside the Great Table diamond. The owner’s identity will be unveiled at the exhibit’s opening reception on May 2.

The figures are made in scale to the people that they represent, but are a quarter of the size. Stuart uses iron wire to create a skeleton, wraps it in clay tape to form bones, and then cotton is added and modeled to form the muscles and shape. A "skin" of felt is sewn and modeling material is used to form the rest of the body.

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Sucher, who has been a stone cutter from an early age, creates diamond replicas out of cubic zirconia through research of historical records and the participation of organizations to obtain the most accurate recreation.