A Fan Of Diamonds

Who isn’t a fan of diamonds?

Qu’apelle Fan created for DeBeers 2004 Venice exhibitition “Diamonds, Nature’s Miracle”

After seeing this extraordinary jewel, it would be difficult not to be a fan.

Created by artist Derek Olson, this functioning fan is an extraordinary work of art. Olson is a creative artist, a master goldsmith, and obviously a man up for a challenge.

In 2004, DeBeers Diamond Trading Company (DTC) accepted entries for an International Design Competition: Diamonds: Nature’s Miracle. The criteria for the competition were: “Age, Imprinted By Mother Nature, Journey (reality), Journey (mythical), and Rarity.

Derek Olson, followed up with a bold design that prompted the Competition jury to express some “concerns about the feasibility of actually creating the finished piece reflected in your design”.

Undaunted, Olson created a diamond and gold work of art that identically re-created the original painted design. The fan won the design competition.

Certificate presented to the winner
Original painted artwork for The Qu’apelle fan

The jewel is designed to celebrate the “beauty, mystique, and allure of natural diamonds”.

The base features a “diamond” shaped natural fancy coloured diamond weighing over three quarters of a carat, in place in the centre, as though it is in the centre of the earth.

Diamond at the base of the handle of the fan “deep in the earth”

Above the base is a representation of a red-hot (rose gold) lava filled fissure carrying scattered square diamonds that are being carried to the surface of the earth by an explosive volcano.

Rose gold red hot lava flow, cracking through the earth’s rocky crust, full of diamonds

Above the volcano, the fan features the power of the explosive force as the diamonds, in the hot lava reach the surface of the earth. The heat of the lava is shown by natural fancy orange and yellow diamonds.

The explosion of red-hot diamond-bearing lava cracking through the crust of the earth

The heat of the vapour from the volcano is shown with wispy veils of diamonds floating above the hot diamonds.

Veils of steam from the igneous explosion

The diamonds cool to the icy form of crystals in diamond set zig-zags in the middle of the fan.

Diamonds crystallize once they reach the surface of the earth

Having been released from the earth, and finally revealed to the light of day, the sky is full of sparkling and joyful swirls of diamond clouds, twinkling stars, comets shooting through the sky with pink diamonds, and the glowing orb of the warm diamond sun, and the perfect arc of the crescent moon.

Diamonds sparkle in the light of the stars, pink glowing comets and the crescent moon

The finished fan is a virtually identical reproduction of the original painting. It took three months of solid work to build this exquisite and unique jewel.

The fan is accompanied by a travelling stand, but, additionally has a vitrine made of glass and marble, designed for display of this treasure.

This fan is a true work of art, and like the history of diamonds is bound in its beauty, to resonate for ages to come

Duncan Parker

About Duncan Parker

Duncan Parker, FGA, FCGmA, CAP (CJA), Vice President. Duncan is a columnist and contributor for industry magazines and journals. He has been an instructor of the gemstone course at Ryerson University, the Gemmology courses of George Brown College and Canadian Gemmological Association as well as instructor Master Valuer Program with the Canadian Jewellers Association. A renowned expert, he speaks regularly at international gem and jewellery conferences and symposiums, as well as at less formal events. He has served as President of the Canadian Gemmological Association since 1995. Before joining Dupuis Auctioneers, Duncan was a director of research at Harold Weinstein Ltd., a leading and respected jewellery appraisal company.
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