Hooker Starburst-Cut Yellow Diamond Jewelry Suite

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Lareef A. Samad B.Sc. (Hons)

Origin of Name

The Hooker Starburst-Cut Yellow Diamond Jewelry Suite gets its name from the renowned philanthropist and principal benefactor of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, the late Mrs. Janet Annenberg Hooker, who generously gifted the magnificent suite of 18k yellow-gold jewelry, designed by Cartier in the late 1980s to the Smithsonian Institution in 1994. Another spectacular piece of jewelry donated by Mrs. Hooker is the Hooker Emerald Brooch gifted in 1977 and set with a 75.47-carat, square emerald-cut Colombian emerald as its centerpiece, surrounded by a circular platinum framework mounted with a total of 109 round brilliant-cut and baguette-cut diamonds.

 

Janet Annenberg Hooker at a 1979 Palm Beach Party

Janet Annenberg Hooker at a 1979 Palm Beach Party

Photo Courtesy - www.newyorksocialdiary.com

The donation of $5 million to the National Museum of Natural History, by the late Mrs. Janet Annenberg Hooker, the publishing heiress, enabled the construction of their modern gem and mineral gallery, which was named the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals in her honor, and opened on September 20th, 1997, just three months before her passing away on December 13, 1997, at the ripe old age of 93 years.

 

Hooker Starburst-Cut Yellow Diamond Suite on display at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals

Hooker Starburst-Cut Yellow Diamond Suite on display at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals

Characteristics of the Yellow Diamond Suite

 

Photograph of the Hooker Yellow Diamond Suite by Chip Clark

Photograph of the Hooker Yellow Diamond Suite by Chip Clark

 

The 18k yellow-gold jewelry suite designed by Cartier Inc. in the late 1980s consists of the following components :-

1) A rivière necklace set with 50 starburst-cut fancy yellow diamonds.

2) A matching pair of earclips set with starburst-cut fancy yellow diamonds and colorless diamond surrounds.

3) A yellow-gold ring set with a large starburst-cut fancy yellow diamond as centerpiece flanked by colorless diamonds.

 

1) The Rivière Necklace Set with 50 Starburst-cut Fancy Yellow Diamonds

The main component of the Hooker Yellow Diamond Jewelry Suite is the diamond rivière necklace set with 50 starburst-cut fancy yellow diamonds, mounted on 18k yellow gold. In a rivière necklace the diamonds or other gemstones gradually increase in size from the rear to a large center stone in the front. The rectangular brilliant-cut starburst diamonds in this rivière necklace gradually increase in size from the rear towards a central large diamond in the front, as seen in the image below.

 

Hooker Diamond Rivière Necklace set with fifty starburst-cut fancy yellow diamonds

Hooker Diamond Rivière Necklace set with fifty starburst-cut fancy yellow diamonds

Photo credit - Laurie Minor-Penland

 

The diamonds vary in weight between 1.00 - 20.00 carats giving a total weight of 244.10 carats. The color-grade of the diamonds is fancy yellow, further enhanced by the 18k yellow-gold mount.

The cut of the diamonds is starburst-cut. The starburst-cut is a modified radiant-cut developed and patented by Louis Glick Diamond Corp. and U. Doppelt & Co. of New York in 1978. The Starburst-cut was specifically created to bring out the maximum amount of color in fancy yellow diamonds. The starburst faceting pattern is designed to focus color near the top of a stone, making the hue of fancy yellow diamonds more intense. It is actually a modified radiant-cut with a crown similar to that of the radiant-cut, but more crown facets and an entirely different pavilion. There are 49 crown facets and 40 pavilion facets, giving a total of 89 kite and star-shaped facets. The Starburst cut is especially suitable for a octahedral rough diamond, with weight losses in the fifty percent range. Starburst-cut diamonds produced by Louis Glick Diamond Corp and U. Doppelt & Co, world renowned cutters of fancy yellow diamonds, are mounted in jewelry and sold by leading jewelry houses such as Cartier, Harry Winston, Nieman Marcus and Tiffany.

 

7.92-carat flawless starburst-cut natural fancy yellow diamond cut by U. Doppelt & Co

7.92-carat flawless starburst-cut natural fancy yellow diamond cut by U. Doppelt & Co

Photo credit - pampillonia.com


 

Hooker Starburst Necklace on display at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals at the NMNH

Hooker Starburst Necklace on display at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals at the NMNH


 

Section of the Hooker Starburst Necklace enlarged to show the rectangular starburst-cut diamonds

Section of the Hooker Starburst Necklace enlarged to show the rectangular starburst-cut diamonds

 

2) The matching pair of earclips set with starburst-cut fancy yellow diamonds and colorless diamond surrounds.

 

Matching Pair of Ear Clips from the Hooker Starburst-cut Yellow Diamond Jewelry Suite

Matching Pair of Ear Clips from the Hooker Starburst-cut Yellow Diamond Jewelry Suite

Photo credit - Laurie Minor-Penland

 

Each of the matching pair of Ear Clips in the Hooker Yellow Diamond Jewelry Suite, is set with a 25.3-carat, fancy yellow, rectangular brilliant-cut starburst diamond as the centerpiece, surrounded and highlighted by 4 pear-shaped, colorless diamonds set at the 4 vertices of the rectangle, and 16 baguette-cut colorless diamonds, with 4 such diamonds set along each side of the rectangle. Thus, there are 20 colorless diamonds in each diamond surround, making 40 diamonds for the two surrounds of the pair. The total weight of the 40 colorless diamonds is 26.80 carats.

 

The Hooker Ear Clips on display at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of the NMNH

 

3) A yellow-gold ring set with a large starburst-cut fancy yellow diamond as centerpiece flanked by colorless diamonds.

 

Yellow-gold ring set with a 61.12-carat, starburst-cut fancy yellow diamond flanked by triangular-cut colorless diamonds

Yellow-gold ring set with a 61.12-carat, starburst-cut fancy yellow diamond flanked by triangular-cut colorless diamonds

 

The third component of the Hooker Yellow Diamond Jewelry Suite is an 18k yellow gold ring set with a 61.12-carat, starburst-cut, fancy yellow diamond as its centerpiece, flanked by triangular-cut colorless diamonds, with a total weight of 4.75 carats.

 

Another image of the Hooker starburst-cut yellow diamond ring

 

Hooker fancy yellow diamonds are without any doubt Type 1aAB diamonds

Being yellow diamonds, the Hooker starburst-cut yellow diamonds are Type 1 diamonds, due to the presence of detectable quantities of nitrogen that causes the yellow color. The fact that the diamonds are cut as starburst-cut diamonds that enhances the intensity of the color by focusing the color near the top of the diamonds, shows that the intensity of the yellow color of the Hooker diamonds are not sufficient enough to categorize them as Type 1b. In Type 1b diamonds, the nitrogen atoms are scattered as single atoms throughout the crystal structure, which absorb visible light in the blue end of the spectrum giving rise to intense yellow colors, such as fancy intense yellow and fancy vivid yellow colors.The rare canary yellow diamonds which are also categorized as fancy vivid beong to this group. Such diamonds are are less than 0.1 % of all natural diamonds and are extremely rare.

Hence, Hooker yellow diamonds are Type 1a diamonds, which are of three sub-types - Type 1aA, Type 1aB, Type 1aAB. In Type 1aA diamonds the nitrogen atoms occur as groups of two atoms known as A-aggregates, which do not absorb visible light and do not affect the color of the diamonds. A-aggregates can quench fluorescence and therefore these diamonds are colorless and non- fluorescent.

In Type 1aB diamonds, nitrogen atoms occur as groups of 4-atoms known as B-aggregates, which also do not absorb visible light and do not affect the color of diamonds. However B-aggregates do not quench fluorescence and therefore these diamonds are colorless and strongly fluorescent.

In Type 1aAB diamonds, nitrogen atoms occur as A-aggregates, B-aggregates, and also as N3 centers (groups of 3-atoms). N3 centers absorb visible light in the blue end of the spectrum giving rise to pale yellow and medium yellow colors. The diamonds also show faint to medium fluorescence. 98% of all natural diamonds belong to this group.

Hence, the Hooker yellow diamonds with a medium yellow color, characterized as fancy yellow, also belong to Type 1aAB diamonds. The starburst-cut was employed on these yellow diamonds with the deliberate intention of increasing the intensity of the yellow color of these diamonds. The diamonds were set on 18k yellow gold, also to achieve the same purpose.

Janet Annenberg Hooker with her son Gilbert Kahn at a Palm Beach party in 1988

Photo courtesy - www.newyorksocialdiary.com

Janet Annenberg Hooker, the renowned American socialite and philanthropist

Janet Annenberg Hooker, the renowned American socialite, philanthropist and newspaper heiress was the third of eight children - seven girls and one boy - born to Moses Annenberg and his wife Sadie, founder of the publishing empire, Cecilia Corporation that subsequently became the Triangle Publications, whose publications included The Morning Telegrah of New York, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily Racing Form and the TV Guide magazine. She was married three times, first in 1924 to publisher L. Stanley Kahn, by whom she had two sons Gilbert Kahn and Donald Kahn, but the marriage ended up in divorce in 1937. In 1938 she married investment banker Joseph A. Neff, a successful marriage that lasted for three decades until his death in 1969. Five years later in 1974, she married James Stewart Hooker, head of labour relations for the "Philadelphia Inquirer," a former Annenberg newspaper now owned by Knight-Ridder Newspapers Inc. Mr. Hooker died two years later in 1976.

Blue Room of the White House - Photograph taken on October 8, 2009

Blue Room of the White House - Photograph taken on October 8, 2009

Mrs. Janet Hooker was well known for her philanthropy. Among the organizations that benefitted from her munificence were musical institutions such as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musicians Emergency Fund, and various outdoor concert programs, as well as the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center. She also supported the rebuilding and redecoration of the diplomatic reception rooms of the State Department building in the mid-1980s, and took a keen interest in the White House Preservation Fund, contributing funds for the renovation of the Blue Room in the White House, and the redecoration of the private quarters. She also contributed to the renovation of the Blair-Lee House, the official state guest house for the President of the United States.

Blair House - Official State Guest House for the President of the United States

Blair House - Official State Guest House for the President of the United States

 

Mrs. Janet Hooker's greatest philanthropic contribution was the donation of US$5 million to Smithsonian's NMNH, that enabled the construction of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals, named in her honor

The Hooker Emerald Brooch

The Hooker Emerald Brooch

Photo by Chip Clark

However, her greatest philanthropic contribution was her support to the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution, which was given in the form of gifts and financial support, that included the 75-carat Hooker Emerald Brooch in 1977, the Hooker Starburst Diamonds, the subject of this webage in 1994, and above all her financial contribution of US$5 million to the NMNH which met almost 50% of the cost of construction of the new gem and mineral gallery that was opened on September 20th, 1997, and was named the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals, in her honor. According to her son, Gilbert S. Kahn, Mrs. Hooker's total contribution to the NMNH of the Smithsonian Institution, totaled about $9 million, both in cash and jewelry.

Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals

Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals

 

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Back to More Famous Diamonds

Back to Famous Diamonds

 

Related :-

1) Hooker Emerald Brooch

2) Chalk Emerald Ring

3) Rosser Reeves Star Ruby

4) Logan Blue Sapphire

5) Star of Asia Sapphire

6) Star of Bombay

7) De Young Red Diamond

8) American Golden Topaz

 

External Links :-

http://mineralsciences.si.edu/collections/gem_gallery/

d/hookerDiamonds.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/16/nyregion/janet-a-hooker-philanthropist-dies-at-93.html

http://geogallery.si.edu/index.php/en/1000050/hooker-yellow-diamonds

http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/social-history/2008/best-friends-jewish-society-in-old-palm-beach

 

References :-

1) Gem Gallery - Hooker Yellow Diamonds. http://mineralsciences.si.edu/collections/gem_gallery/

d/hookerDiamonds.htm

2) Gem Gallery - Hooker Yellow Diamonds. http://geogallery.si.edu//index.php/en/1000050/hooker-yellow-diamonds

3) Best Friends: Jewish Society in Old Palm Beach - http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/social-history/2008/best-friends-jewish-society-in-old-palm-beach

4) Janet A. Hooker, Philanthropist, Dies at 93 - http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/16/nyregion/janet-a-hooker-philanthropist-dies-at-93.html

5) Smithsonian's Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals - John S. White - The Mineralogical Record, May/June 2000.


6) New Smithsonian Hall Opens - American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Newsletter, October 1997.

 


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