Copper, the interesting link between antique diamonds and charity

Copper, the unexpected link between

antique diamonds and charity...

(an interesting history)

Platinum, gold and silver acid testing set with touchstone from Adin at www.adin.be
Click the picture to get to this special old cut Peruzzi diamond.

What you see here on the picture, are diamond tools and a platinum ring with an old cushion cut or Peruzzi diamond which dates back to the early 18th Century. The tools are diamond holders for polishing diamonds. The one in the front is how they were used in the 18th century and the one in the back is how they were used in the 20th century.

The one in the front has a leaded point on a brass half sphere attached to a copper stem. Diamond polishers would heat the lead so it would be moldable to embed the diamond in. The copper stem was pushed into a wooden tool which allowed the polishers to easily hold the diamond against a polishing wheel. In order to make the many facets a diamond has, they had to bend the copper stem in the wanted position.

Later the brass and lead were replaced by an iron tool (the diamond holder you see in the back) which allowed the polishers to easily change the stone from its holder. But the copper stem remained.

When you bend a metal many times eventually it will break and such was the case with all these copper stems. In 1905 the Dutch Diamond Workers Union agreed with the owners of the diamond polishing factories that from then on, the Union would receive all the broken copper stems. A special fund, the "Koperen Stelen Fonds" or KSF (Dutch for Copper Stem Fund) was founded, solely funded by the revenues of the broken copper stems, for the financial support of diamond workers that were affected by tuberculoses.

Later in 1919 a sort-like agreement between unions and factory owners was made for the recuperation of used diamond powder (needed to polish diamonds) and with those revenues the KSF bought themselves a farm from which they made a sanatorium.

Antiqualy yours,

The Adin team
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