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According to its ancient Greek name: adamas, it is "indomitable". Although most of the time appreciated for its sharpness, its brilliance, its round brilliant cut that reveals its intense fire, the diamond appears to us in different shapes and different faces.

The diamond has always been a symbol of eternity, purity, hardness and rarity. This sublime gem comes in many colors and many shapes with strong character, which are distinguished from white diamonds to smooth beauty. Like any enigma stone, the diamond otherwise arouses our curiosity and opens our eyes to the infinite number of treasures that surround us.

We all have a way of our own to apprehend the beautiful and this article aims to open our vision of beautiful pebbles. We will then realize that a diamond can offer us a spectacle in color and surprises, to finally be beautiful, otherwise.

Diamond Fact Sheet

- Chemical composition: The diamond as we know it is a gem that once cut, dazzles us by its brilliance and by its fire. But a long journey takes place until this stage. This gem is exclusively composed of carbon, has the same chemical composition as graphite, only the crystal structure differs: indeed the atoms in a diamond are very tight against each other, unlike graphite. It is this compact and regular arrangement of atoms that explains the hardness of the diamond: its resistance to shocks and scratches. (The diamond is 10 on the Mohs scale, which ranges from 1: talc, dry soap to 10). Although diamond is the hardest and toughest material in the world, it is not unbreakable.

- Crystal structure: Like spinel and garnets, the crystal structure of the diamond is cubic. The most common raw form for a diamond is the octahedron (2 pyramids attached), however it is rare that the edges are perfectly symmetrical.

- Its formation: The conditions for diamond formation are:

- A temperature between 900 and 1300 degrees - A pressure between 45 and 60 kilo bars

- The right combination of these two elements (otherwise the diamond would turn into graphite during its journey to the surface of the Earth)

- A carbon-rich environment These conditions exist in very peculiar parts of the upper mantle of the Earth, between 140 and 190 km below the surface, the most favorable place being ancient parts of the crust, called cratons.

- Its age: The youngest diamond was discovered in Zaire in 1995 and formed 628 million years ago. The oldest diamonds that were discovered were formed 3.3 billion years ago.

Some diamond forms…

- The pyramid: Return to the sources, in the state of pebble, without alteration, without intervention of the man. Philippe Tournaire sometimes uses rough diamonds in the shape of a double pyramid, simply because in the end, there is sometimes no need to try to manually obtain what Nature knows so nicely to do on its own. The shapes of rough diamonds are sometimes so incredible and perfect, that there is nothing to add. The Carrousel du Louvre of the Ring Paris Large is also represented by a half diamond, a "Pyramid". The double pyramid is not the only form the diamond takes when it comes out of the belly of the Earth: it can just as well resemble a cube, or other similar but less well defined forms.

The crowned or "Dutch" rose

The sizes in Rose, make the diamond a puzzle stone. This size appeared in the XVIth century is fascinating because it allows to give a new brilliance to the diamond. It owes its contours to flattened rough diamonds and thus makes it possible to use a maximum of their potential. Diamond roses are brilliant with their triangular facets that converge at one point. In other words, the crowned rose is a faceted cabochon.

 - The brilliant round: many sizes preceded the famous round brilliant diamond. Years ago, we preferred the caliber of a diamond to its fire. Little by little, it was found that proportions played a fundamental role in the beauty of a diamond. It is in fact thanks to the combination of facets cut in a very precise way that one can obtain an unequaled fire. We went from 8 facets (octahedron) to 58 facets with the brilliant round. Over time, diamond techniques have improved. With the arrival of the round brilliant cut by the Belgian tailor Tolkowsky in 1919, we managed to reconcile two essential elements: to conserve a maximum weight of the raw diamond while obtaining an optimal brilliance..

Philippe Tournaire uses mainly round brilliant diamonds, which can be set in round, square, triangles, drops ... Because it is under this round brilliant cut that the diamonds have a maximum of brilliance. It took over 500 years to develop the known size of all today. This shiny waist will then give rise to many fantasy sizes, such as pear, heart, marquise (or shuttle), emerald, triangular, princess, oval ... Nevertheless, the size Round Shining is The one with the greatest brilliance in the world. Other diamonds are used for their particular color, given by elements considered as defects, but which ultimately give the diamond a unique and sometimes exceptional beauty. It is in this case the imperfections of a gem that make all its charm..

Shades of light from a diamond full of surprises

Even if diamonds abound around the world and even though Mother Nature is generous in the treasure that man strives to find, it is certain that diamonds of beautiful colors are rare. These diamonds are atypical and deserve to be highlighted. It is important to point out that colored diamonds exist because of their impurities, which have managed to infiltrate the gem during its formation.

The Institute of American Gemmology GIA has invented a color scale applicable to jewelers around the world. This scale allows to determine the different degrees of color for a diamond. It goes from D to Z, D referring to Exceptional White + and Z being the color given to a light yellow diamond. We can then think that the letters A, B and C are reserved for diamonds even whiter than white, that a lucky one may discover one day! Who knows what nature reserves? Beyond the letter Z, we move on to a completely different register of colors, this time much more pronounced. For all gems, it is the impurities trapped during their formation that explain their color. It is then that in many cases, the inclusions - sometimes even microscopic - of a gem finally play in its favor. Among all the impure elements that exist, the atoms of nitrogen, boron and hydrogen make their way to the crystal structure of our dear diamond ... This is no longer white: it becomes the diamond otherwise. Sometimes very pretty, sometimes less. It is up to us to know how to select them. Nitrogen is the most common element responsible for color in gems. Boron is the least common and is present in blue-gray diamonds only. Below are some examples of famous diamonds in exceptional colors.


The most common diamond colors are brown and yellow. But some stand out from others because of the intensity of their color: like the yellow-brown Eureka diamond for example. Diamonds remain pebbles that are still being picked up by the earth today. The first diamond to have been discovered in South Africa in 1867 illustrates this image: a young boy playing on the banks of the Orange River (near Namibia) found a nice pebble. He did not know then that his discovery was going to upset the history of the diamond... He played bones with his new find, in all recklessness. Then the pebble passed in expert hands and was identified as a diamond of 21.25 Cts, yellow in color brown and was called Eureka.

Pink, orange and red

The Argyle Mine in Australia produces the majority of pink diamonds on a global scale. A beautiful example is the pink-fishing diamond Hortensia. It weighs 20.53 cts. Originally part of the jewels of the French crown, it is now on display at the Louvre Museum. The orange and red diamonds are so rare that scientists are not sure of the exact cause of this extraordinary color. But there is a great chance that this is the result of a combination of atoms other than carbon and structural anomaly. The Golden Jubilee is considered to be the largest cut diamond in the world. It weighs 545.67 cts, was discovered in South Africa in 1985. It is carved in the form of a cushion with 148 facets. He is now on the specter of the royal family of Thailand. The red Moussaief: of triangular size, this superb red diamond was discovered in the mid-1990s in Brazil. It weighs 5.11 cts. It was found by a Brazilian farmer and then came into the hands of the American jeweler Moussaief, hence his name.

Blue, green

Blue, green diamonds are also rare. Two famous examples are the Hope of an intense blue, the Green Dresden. The Hope is an intense blue diamond that was discovered in India in the 17th and now weighs 45.5 cts. It has long been associated with curses, because many of its buyers have had a tragic end. It is since 1958 in exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, where the curious people of the whole world can admire it. Its color is largely due to the presence of hydrogen. The Green Dresden was discovered at the beginning of the 18th in India and weighs 40.70 cts. It is unique in the sense that the green color that sublimates it is very uniformly distributed, unlike the usual green diamonds with areas of color. Green diamonds are a curiosity. Their color is due to natural irradiation. It is said that the Dresden Vert and the Hope are very related by their weight, their importance in the history of gems, the intensity of their color and their rarity. They were also exhibited together at the Smithsonian Institute of Washington in late 2000. He now can be admired at the Albertinum Museum in Dresden, the capital of Saxony in Germany.


The black diamonds called "Carbonados" owe their color to minerals such as hematite and magnetite which are an integral part of their crystalline structure. They are mainly found in the Central African Republic and Brazil. The diamond "Black Orloff" has helped to make known and appreciate the black diamonds. (For the record: it was discovered in the 18th century in India and now belongs to a rich collector, it weighs 67.5 Cts) The world is full of wonders to discover again and again, sometimes with an eye different from that with which We were taught to look. "Diamonds Autrement", as their name suggests, allow us to adopt a broader vision in the face of the beauty of what nature has to offer us. Through a workshop dedicated to this unique gem, Philippe Tournaire offers you the opportunity to see and tame these treasures of the world in the pure state, or sublimated by the hands of a master.

Let your imagination and your dreams come true by thinking about diamonds differently!

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