No source has been neglected in my quest for historical accuracy, and my efforts and findings are made possible only through the assistance and cooperation of many fine museums, organizations, and individuals.
I would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for supporting my research. Without them, my journey of discovery would grind to a halt.
NOTE: These acknowledgments are listed in an approximate chronological order and do not imply any ranking of greater or lesser importance (except of course, #1).
My wife, Karen
My wife has fully supported my activities all these years, from putting up with the noise of grinding for hours on end, the time I’ve spent away performing research, the support she gave during the Discovery Channel filming, the financing, and a host of other minutiae that would drive any normal woman crazy. Most important, she has helped me realize a dream. She hasn’t always agreed with what I’ve done, but she has always supported it. All I can say is, “Thanks.”
Ceres Crystal Industries
Peggy provided a wealth of technical information concerning their CZ, as did several of their engineers. They also went out of their way to consider manufacturing blue CZ more the color of the Hope than what they currently offer.
Steve and Nancy Attaway
Steve and Nancy’s work as members of the Hope Diamond research team was instrumental to the findings that we presented in the Discovery Channel program, “Unsolved History: The Hope Diamond”
Michael and Lita Asscher
Royal Asscher Diamond Company Ltd.
These folks were outstanding in providing background information concerning the Cullinan diamonds.
David V. Thomas – Director, Crown Jeweler
Sophie Gordon, Curator, The Royal Photograph Collection
Both Sophie and David provided fascinating details concerning the Cullinan diamonds.
Jeff Kaufman, Producer, Discovery Channel
Jeff was the producer that gave me a call to enlist my services in making the Discovery Channel program. He coordinated with the Smithsonian to have the Hope unset, gave us the opportunity to perform real science to research the Hope’s origin, and provided new opportunities to expand my research. I cannot thank him enough in opening many doors for me. I am deeply indebted to him.
Jeff Post, Curator, National Gem and Mineral Collection
Russell Feather, Manager, National Gem and Mineral Collection
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
How can you possibly acknowledge someone that has allowed you to handle the unset Hope diamond? Without him and the backing of the Smithsonian, the research into the Hope, French Blue, and Tavernier Blue, could not have been as scientifically rigorous as it was. Russell assisted in not just this particular project, but also in other administrative and technical details related to it.
John provided some valuable insights during my initial research into the Koh-I-Noor.
Mike works for the Diamond Trading Corporation in London. He has actually handled the Sancy, and provided some valuable technical inputs concerning the Sancy, Cullinan’s, and the Koh-I-Noor.
Royal Ontario Museum
The Museum staff was instrumental in providing information concerning the Great Table, Darya-I-Nur, and Nur-Al-Ain diamonds
Pam de Jong and the management of Coster Diamonds
Coster Diamonds B.V.
Over a period of two weeks, Pam coordinated the loaning of one of their two glass models made around 1851 of the Koh-I-Noor diamond for study. She also obtained permission from their management that this information could be released.
Her Majesty Shahbanou Farah Pahlavi, Empress of Iran
Her Majesty sent her regrets concerning not having personal photos of the Nur-al-Ain which was set in her wedding tiara, but she did provide helpful suggestions for further contacts within Iran.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England
I was pleasantly surprised by a response from Buckingham Palace concerning a question of the Queen’s Cullinan diamonds. The Palace Press Secretary stated that the Queen had seen my request, but was unfortunately unable to provide the needed information. I was further directed to the Crown Jeweler. I thought that it was quite nice of the Queen to have read my letter and provided a response through her staff.
Alan Hart, Collections Leader and Curator, Mineralogy Department
Magdalena Witczyk, Customer Services
Natural History Museum, London
Magdalena was instrumental in assisting me in contacting Mr. Hart. It was due to his efforts that the museum loaned one of their two original copies of the plaster mold of the 186 carat version of the Koh-I-Noor for study.
Mr. Petimezas was extremely helpful in providing information concerning his Black Orlov diamond. We corresponded rather regularly over the course of a few weeks, and he was a real pleasure to work with.
Dr. Francois Farges, Curator of Minerals at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), and professor, Geological and Environnemental Sciences, Stanford University (USA) and Institut Universitaire de France
Francois first contacted me in Oct 2007 concerning replicas of the French Blue and Tavernier Blue diamonds. We have collaborated ever since on various projects, to our mutual benefit. A fun guy, my wife just loves him, and he has extended all kinds of hospitality and friendship towards us. A true gentleman.
Jean-Marc is a technician at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris) who has assisted my efforts in many, many very quiet ways. He lets on not to speak or understand English, but I know he does! Always willing to lend a hand and go out of his way to help.
Herbert Horovitz, sarl
Herbert is a true gentleman with that Old World charm. We have collaborated on projects concerning the French Blue, Tavernier Blue, Bazu, and reconstruction of the Order of the Golden Fleece (see the the French Blue page). It continues to be a pleasure working with him.
Stephane Begoin, Director, Thierry Piantanida, Producer
Both of these gentlemen work for Gedeon Productions, Paris, France. Thierry invited me to participate in a National Geographic special on the French Blue diamond, and was gracious enough to open his house to me for a week while we were finishing filming in Paris. Stephane is an exceptional artiste, obviously one of the reasons he is the best documentary director in France. His most common phrase for me was “That was perfect, but . . .”, and another half dozen takes after that before he was satisfied with what I said and how I said it. Both were absolutely wonderful to work with, as was the rest of the Gedeon crew.
Jason Kolokithas, videographer for this site
Jason is responsible for most of the videos and graphics on this site. If you like what you see, you can go to his YouTube channel JKolo80 and see some of his work. He’s a great guy to work with and his videography is inspired.