Great Britain: De Beers 25th Diamond Research Conference

Great Britain: De Beers 25th Diamond Research ConferenceGreat Britain: De Beers 25th Diamond Research Conference
Form: Circular. Proof-like with frosted designs.
By: Yorkshire Mint / Nordon Art Company of Southampton, England.
Date: 1975
Ref:  Laidlaw: 0216;
51.0 mmSilver62.5 gm$50

Edge: Plain. Stamped with the maker's mark: "Y.M" and the 1975 Birmingham hallmark for sterling silver.

Obverse: Coat of arms of the five participating universities: Oxford (top left), Cambridge (top right), Reading (left), Bristol (right) and London (bottom). On a ribbon below: “25th DE BEERS DIAMOND RESEARCH CONFERENCE 1975”. Above and behind is a radiant octahedral diamond crystal with leaf-like ornaments to the left and right.

Reverse: An eagle with outstretched wings holds a radiant diamond in its beak while grasping a venomous snake in its talons.

Notes: Comes in a blue case lined in white silk inscribed with the maker's name: "NORDON ART COMPANY / Exmoor House, Methuen Street, Southampton" and blue velvet. Also a certificate of issue recording a mintage of 250.

The reverse design is inspired by the “Legend of Diamond Valley’ which has been recorded in several ancient documents including one by the Roman author Pliny. The story has it that diamonds were found only in one deep and inaccessible canyon in the East, guarded by venomous snakes. The diamonds which lay strewn on the canyon floor were mined in a curious fashion. Pieces of carrion flesh, to which the diamonds adhered, were thrown into the abyss. Mountain eagles swooped down to consume the flesh, and so carried the precious stones up their eyries, high above, from where the stones were gathered.