In this series of diamond portraits, we usually focus on people who had an unusual career in the diamond industry, who changed it, or contributed to it in some distinguished way. They either helped create it, as did Ernest Oppenheimer and Barney Barnato, established ways of improving it, as did Richard Liddicoat, or expanded it into new areas, as did Hans Stern and Howard Tracy Hall. Maximillian I and Mary of Burgundy were the one exception, as they are the earliest documented couple to gift a diamond engagement ring.
Another duo that went down in history due to a single diamond jewelry item were the two Parisian jewelers, Charles Boehmer and Paul Bassenge. The two created a diamond necklace that contributed to the downfall of Mary Antoinette, the French monarchy and the popular uprising that became the French Revolution. This is the story of love, greed, power, deception, forgery, and politics, as well as a tale of blind desire for position and riches that led to ruin and destruction on a massive scale.