Category Archives: Diamonds

The Second Largest Diamond Ever Found

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Canadian-based Lucara Diamond Corporation have announced the finding of the second-largest diamond in history.

This tennis ball-sized white diamond weighs in at a jaw-dropping 1,111 carats!   The stone, described as gem-quality with a type IIa grade, was found in the company’s Karowe Mine in Botswana on Monday.

The stone ranks only behind the Cullinan Diamond in terms of carat size.   When the Cullinan Diamond was recovered in 1905, it weighed in at an astronomic 3,106 carats.   The diamond was later cut into 9 major stones and another 96 smaller stones.

Lucara followed up that news with an announcement on the finding of two other hefty white diamonds.   The first, weighing in at 813 carats, is considered to be the sixth largest diamond ever recovered.   The other stone found weighed in at 374 carats.

“I am truly at a loss for words. This has been an amazing week for Lucara with the recovery of the second largest and also the sixth largest gem quality diamonds ever mined. We are truly blessed by this amazing asset.”

-William Lamb, president and CEO of Lucara

A Possible Record-Breaking Diamond

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A 12.03-carat Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue diamond could become a record-breaking stone come this November as it goes to auction by Sotheby’s.

The “Blue Moon Diamond”, named for its once-in-a-blue-moon kind of rarity is expected to sell for between $35 and $55 million at their Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva.

The original stone was recovered by Petra Diamonds at the Cullinan mine in South Africa in January 2014.

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In it’s original state, it weighed in at 29.62-carats and was quickly sold for $25.6 million to Cora International.   The New York-based firm then spent the next 6 months cutting and polishing the fabulous blue stone to its current form.

If the Blue Moon Diamond does end up selling for more than $32.6 million, it will break the record currently held by the 9.75-carat Zoe Diamond as the most expensive blue diamond ever sold.  If it sells for more than $46.2 million, it will set the record for the most expensive diamond of any kind sold at auction.

A 336-Carat Diamond Headlines Latest Lucara Find

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Mining and development company Lucara Diamond outlined their latest diamond finds on Monday, August 17 and it was highlighted by a spectacular 336-carat diamond, type IIa white diamond.

Four other significant diamonds were also found including white ones weighing in at 184 carats, 94 carats and 86 carats.   A 12-carat pale pink diamond was also recovered but the official color will be confirmed once Lucara’s experts finish cleaning it.

The fabulous stones were mined from the Karowe Diamond location in Botswana.   Lucara, who owns 100% of that mine, have recovered 216 diamonds from that location that have sold for at least $250,000.   Of those diamonds, 12 of them have sold for more than $5 million!

Aside from the Karowe Diamond mine, Lucara also holds a 75% interest in the Mothae Project in Lesotho.   As per the company’s website, they have completed the trial mining stage at Mothae. The location was put on care and maintenance while Lucara investigates further development options.

Canada: The Diamond Powerhouse

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Most people can name the top 5 diamond producing countries in the world.   Russia…check.   Australia…absolutely-check.   A trio of African countries Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa…check, check and check.   But did you know Canada is #6 in the world?

What’s interesting about Canada’s place in the diamond world is that the precious stones were not found until the mid-80s with working diamond mines popping up less than a decade later.

Canada has never been a place to find excessively large diamonds, the largest one ever found is a 35-carat stone recovered from the De Beers Victor Mine near Attawapiskat in Northern Ontario in 2013.   The diamond was purchased, cut and polished by Vancouver diamond maker Crossworks.

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Currently there are five mines in operation in Canada.   Three are located north of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories: the Diavik Mine, the Ekati Mine and the Snap Lake Mine.   The aforementioned Ontario-based Victor Mine as well as the Jericho Mine in Nanuvut are the other two Canadian mines.

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The most recent star of the Canadian diamond world is this 11-carat rough diamond recovered from the Ekati mine.  The stone is currently on display at the Royal Alberta Museum as part of their mineral collection.

According to Melissa Bowerman, assistant curator of geology for the facility, the diamond is going to remain on display as a permanent feature of an expanded mineral exhibit when the new downtown Edmonton location opens as western Canada’s largest museum in December 2017.

Chipping Away At The Cullinan Diamond

This week marks the 110th anniversary of the discovery of the Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality diamond ever found.

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Weighing in at 3106.75 carats in its rough form, the diamond was found in the Premier Mine of Pretoria in the Gauteng province of South Africa by Captain Frederick Wells.

Named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, owner of the mine, the diamond was presented to England’s reigning monarch King Edward VII in 1905.   After a lengthy debate on how the diamond could be split up, the decision was made to cut it into 9 major diamonds and 96 minor ones.

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Here is the true story on what has happened to the nine major stones cut from the Cullinan Diamond.

Cullinan I (also called The Great Star of Africa)

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The largest stone from the Cullinan Diamond weighs in at 530 carats and is one the largest cut diamonds in the world.   It currently sits in the head of the British Sovereign’s Royal Scepter, on display in the Tower of London.

Cullinan II (also called Star of Africa II)

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Also considered one of the largest cut diamonds in history, this rectangular, cushion-cut stone is set in the front of Britain’s Imperial State Crown.   On special Royal occasions, the Cullinan I and the Cullinan II have also been put together as a brooch.

Cullinan III and IV

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The 94.4-carat Cullinan III and 63.6-carat Cullinan IV diamonds are currently worn together as stunning pendant brooch.   The diamonds were originally set on the crown worn in the consort crown worn by Queen Mary, wife of King George V.

Cullinan V

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The heart-shaped Cullinan V currently sits as the centrepiece of a stomacher brooch that also features the emerald Delhi Durbar Parure.

Cullinan VI and Cullinan VII

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Both of these stones feature a marquise-cut, the VI is much thinner but comes in at 11.5 carats while the VII is heftier looking and weighing 8.8 carats.   The two diamonds can also be seen as a pendant attached to the stomacher featuring the Cullinan V.

Cullinan VIII

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The Cullinan VIII, a 6.8-carat emerald-cut diamond, has been used both as a single-stone brooch or paired with the Cullinan V or Cullinan VI as a more elaborate piece.

Cullinan IX

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The last of the major stones from the Cullinan Diamond is the 4.4-carat, pear-shaped Cullinan IX.   The diamond is currently on a ring set on platinum and has occasionally been worn by Queen Elizabeth II.

“Excuse Me Bartender, There Is A Diamond In My Drink”

Apparently diamonds aren’t just for wearing anymore.   Some bars and restaurants are using them to spice up their drinks.   From Tokyo to Connecticut, we take a sip (a very small sip!) of the Top 5 Most Expensive Cocktails (Featuring Diamonds) from around the world.

1.  Diamond Is Forever – $18,600

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The most expensive cocktail on our list, this Diamond Is Forever martini is featured at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, Japan.   The drink features chilled Grey Goose vodka with fresh lime juice.   The stone is a “clear cut” 1-carat diamond resting at the bottom of the glass.   What puts the drink over the top is that a live band will play “Diamond Is Forever” as you enjoy your beverage.

2.  Martini On The Rock – $10,000

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The Algonquin Hotel, the famed Midtown Manhattan bar that was originally home of the Algonquin Roundtable featuring Dorothy Parker, offers this five-figure martini.   Requiring 72-hours notice to order, the drink comes with a diamond along with a visit from the hotel’s resident jeweller.   The martini itself is styled after the drink from the James Bond books, vodka with a hint of gin and a French aperitif called Lillet.

3.  Diamond Is Forever – $10,000

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The second of New York City’s $10,000 martinis, this one is offered at Uncorked and also requires 72-hours notice.   The buyer gets a simple Grey Goose vodka martini with fresh lime juice.   However, instead of just a diamond, the drink comes with a one-carat engagement ring and a consultation with restaurant owner and jewelry designer Andy Goetz.

4.  Diamond Cocktail – $4,350

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Offered at the Sheraton Park Hotel in London, the drink is made with Charles Heidsieck Vintage Champagne, Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, Angostura bitters, and topped with a sugar cube.   The buyer of the drink can choose between either a diamond or a ruby to accent the cocktail.

5.  The Sapphire Martini – $3,000

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Offered at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, this martini is made with Blue Curacao, Bombay Sapphire Gin and a splash of dry vermouth.   The glass is coated with blue sugar along the rim.   What makes the drink so expensive is that it comes with a pair of blue sapphire and diamond earrings with a sterling silver pick.

 

 

 

Agatha Christie Diamonds = Big Pay Day!

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Did you hear about the Agatha Christie story about the mysterious trunk purchased for less than $200 (CAD) that turned into about $80,000 worth of diamond jewelry?

This story doesn’t take place in an old mansion or on the Orient Express, it happened for real for a fan of the late author,  Jennifer Grant.

In 2006, Grant purchased a trunk at a sale in the author’s estate in Devon, England.   Inside the trunk was a strongbox that she decided to pry open with a crowbar 4 years later.  Located inside was a diamond brooch and a three-diamond ring.   These pieces became part of Bonhams’ Jewelry auction on October 8, 2014.

Leading up to the auction, industry experts assumed the ring would sell for for between $5,000 and $9,000 while the brooch would sell for between $10,000 and $14,000 while .   The sale of these two items blew away those predictions as the ring sold for a whopping $39,277 and the brooch sold for an even more impressive $49,377!

As per National Jeweler, the pieces were purchased as a gift for his wife by the husband of Sophie Kinsella, famed author of the Shopaholic series of novels.