|Assembling rings (circa 1925, Cigarbox collection)|
Tragically, that scenario repeated itself throughout Jewish history. According to some accounts, prior to the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 a rumor spread that many Jews swallowed diamonds and gold in order to take their wealth with them. Thieves killed many and sliced open their stomachs in their search for treasure. The Holocaust is fraught with tales of Jews attempting to use gems to buy their escape.
|Diamond polishing (1930, Library|
|Diamond cutting on lathes (1939, Library of Congress)|
|Inspecting diamonds (1939,|
Library of Congress)
Since the 15th century, diamond cutting was a traditional Jewish craft, Wikipedia reports. That's when a Jewish diamond cutter in Belgium invented the scaif, an essential tool for polishing. The first diamond polishing plant was opened in a Jewish town in Eretz Yisrael by Dutch refugee experts. By 1944 the industry employed 3,300 workers in 33 factories in Palestine.
Today, Israel is one of the world centers for preparation and sale of diamonds.
Today's posting is dedicated to Stella and Jordan -- Happy Anniversary and many, many more
and to Keren B, the jewelry maker and designer