James Russell writes on diamonds, pearls and all gemstones, with a special focus on history, folklore and mythology.

At the age of ten he performed the title role of Hamlet in a full-length production. Much later he performed lead and major roles in plays of Maurice Maeterlinck, Bertholt Brecht, Samuel Beckett and Snoo Wilson. An arts graduate from the University of Western Australia, he specialised in English Literature of the Restoration as well as earlier periods. 

These early experiences instilled a love of story-telling, grounded in an awareness of the Pre-romantic world.

Among many other jobs and enterprises, James has been a prospector, lapidary, gemstone merchant, jewellery salesman and lecturer in gemstone identification. He is currently an investor specialising in mining. 

In 2018 James combined his interest in literature, diamonds and history to write Known Only to Kings: Diamonds in Mythology and Folklore. The book will be published this month.


Watch this space for public appearances, lectures and other events.

James Russell is available for public speaking events and has prepared talks covering these topics:

  • The symbolism of diamonds in mythology and folklore.
  • The early history of diamonds.
  • The secrets of gemstones – an introduction.
  • The self-published author: How I wrote and published a book.
  • Medusa and the meaning of diamonds.