Diamonds: The seven “C’s”, Part 1 – Carat, colour, clarity and cut

The Hope Diamond, once owned by the Sun King Louis XIV, now in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, and model for the diamond necklace that starred in the epic film “Titanic” (©

Experts traditionally judge the quality of a finished diamond by four criteria: cut, clarity, colour and carat. But there is a dark side to the story of this brilliant, beautiful stone—the hardest substance we know of. In these two programmes, we look at both the sparkle and the stain. Among the many guests in these two programmes, we speak with the Amsterdam diamond trader whose ancestor cut the greatest of all diamonds in history: the legendary Koh-i-Noor, found in India and now part of the Royal Crown Jewels. We speak with diamond merchants in Antwerp and London and discuss new technological possibilities that might make the cult around diamonds totally superfluous. And we speak with the maker of the famous “diamond” necklace that starred in the film epic “Titanic”.

Producer: Marijke van der Meer

First broadcast June 17, 1998