Dreams of Diamonds Exhibit Comes to GIA in Carlsbad

If you were lucky enough to visit GIA between April 29 and May 11, 2015, you were in for a rare treat. The sparkling “Dreams of Diamonds” exhibit included 25 pieces of spectacular jewelry comprising over 4,000 carats of diamonds.

Earrings, necklaces, rings, a tiara – any type of jewelry you could think of – were among the diamond-studded examples of unsurpassed beauty in the “Dreams of Diamonds” exhibit. If you were to take a step back from a display case, the exhibit looked like a night sky lit by twinkling stars.


A 54.29 ct. Fancy Intense yellow diamond suspended from a necklace set with 67.10 carats of colorless diamonds greeted guests when they entered the Mikimoto Rotunda. Chatila, a design house founded in 1860 and famed for creating pieces with large diamonds and rare colored stones, designed this piece. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy of Chatila

Much of the jewelry in the exhibit was first featured in Dreams of Diamonds, the largest book ever published depicting these coveted gems (it measures 20” x 28” inches). British photography and design duo Alastair Laidlaw and Christine Marsden were inspired to create this 160-page work of art that took six years to complete and weighs a hefty 30 pounds. The limited edition book (500 copies) retails for $10,000 and is filled with photographs of diamond jewelry juxtaposed against computer created magical gardens, dramatic landscapes, and surrealistic dreamscapes. Laidlaw and Marsden generously donated two copies to the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library in Carlsbad.


Dreams of Diamonds lies open with the exhibit behind it. Photo by Kevin Schumacher/GIA

Seven iconic design houses that were featured in the book took part in the exhibition at GIA: Adler, Chatila, Chow Tai Fook, Diacore, Diarough, Mouawad, and MUNNU The Gem Palace.


Billowing like sheets in the wind, the graceful titanium “Sail” earrings by Adler Joailliers are set with 836 diamonds weighing a total of 36.05 carats. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy of Adler Joailliers

Founded in Istanbul and headquartered in Geneva, Adler Joailliers is renowned for combining the technical excellence of  skilled artisans with the exoticism we associate with Eastern cultures.


This stunning 18K white gold diamond sautoir (a very long necklace) by Diarough has 404 rough diamond crystals weighing a total of 813 carats. It also has 7,241 polished diamonds weighing a total of 584 carats. Nicole Kidman wore it to the 2008 Academy Awards. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy of Diarough

Diarough is a leader in the cutting and polishing of diamonds and manufacturing of jewelry. This piece was worn by Nicole Kidman to the 2008 Academy Awards.


Diamonds weighing a total of 126.63 carats and rubies weighing a total of 46.27 carats glitter in this regal diamond and ruby suite by Mouawad. It includes a necklace, bracelet (bottom), earrings (far right and left), and a ring (center). Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy of Mouawad MEN DMCC

Headquartered in Geneva, Mouawad has acquired some of the most important diamonds ever fashioned. This includes the 108.81 ct D-Internally Flawless Mouawad Magic and the 101.84 ct Mouawad Splendour; it also includes Mouawad’s L’Incomparable diamond necklace, which features the 407.48 ct Fancy Deep yellow Incomparable diamond.


This exotic necklace features an 18K gold and silver pendant which has 58.72 carats of rose cut diamonds. The strands and tassels are Basra pearls. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy of MUNNU The Gem Palace.

MUNNU The Gem Palace was founded more than three centuries ago. The house’s craftsmen were jewelers to India’s Maharajas and British viceroys.


This emerald parure featured 151.32 carats of diamonds and 125.76 carats of emeralds. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy of Mouawad MENA DMCC

This diamond and emerald parure elicited “oohs” and “ahhs” from GIA employees and visitors alike. Emeralds of such rich color are exceptional, and when surrounded by colorless diamonds, the effect was simply magnificent.


Sharp lines and dramatic angles are hallmarks of jewelry designer Shaune Leane. The earrings he designed with Diacore feature 24.60 carats of diamonds set in 18K red gold. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA, courtesy of Diacore- Shaune Leane design

Diacore is renowned for providing beautiful rough and polished diamonds. Famous diamonds cut by Diacore include the 203.04 ct De Beers Millennium Star and the 59.60 ct Fancy Vivid Pink Star. The house is also known for making high-end jewelry.

“Dreams of Diamonds” was truly a world-class exhibit. GIA was honored to host it, and we hope we’ve given you a sense of its breathtaking beauty.

Still desire to be dazzled? Check out some impressive celebrity engagement rings.

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