Swiss jeweller buys rights to $63M Constellation diamond
The world's most expensive rough diamond is now in the hands of De Grisogono, a Swiss luxury jeweller and watch maker.
Geneva-based De Grisogono purchased the rights to market Lucara Diamond's (TSX:LUC) Constellation gem, which sold in May for a record $63 million, at the launch of the 28th Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris. The price was not disclosed.
The company entered into an agreement with Nemesis International when the Dubai-based corporation bought the 813-carat stone from Lucara, which recovered it last November from its Karowe mine in Botswana.
"I love her and I hate her. Love because something like this is so exceptional – I could never dream to be able to have a stone like this in my own hands – and hate her because I don't know how I'm going to dress her."
According to De Grisogono, cutting and polishing the Constellation – a process expected to take several months – could result in one of the world's largest flawless diamonds. The impressive rock weighs 813 carats and measures six centimetres (2.4 inches) across. According to Nickolas Polak, international director of Nemesis, the diamond will be cut in Antwerp and is expected to produce the world’s largest D Flawless diamond, weighing between 300 carats and 350 carats, reported the fashion website WWD.
"(This is) the first time we've taken such a historic stone and had full creative freedom to do what we want with it," CNN quotes De Grisogono CEO John Leitao, who added that the firm plans to transform Constellation into "a stone that rivals the crown jewels." The company's founder was even more colourful in his comments: "I love her and I hate her," said Fawaz Gruosi. "Love because something like this is so exceptional – I could never dream to be able to have a stone like this in my own hands – and hate her because I don't know how I'm going to dress her."
Lucara made headlines with an even bigger diamond also dug from Karowe, the 1,109-carat “Lesedi La Rona” (or "our light" in the Tswana language spoken in Botswana). However that stone, which was expected to fetch $70 million, failed to sell at auction and Lucara is still searching for a buyer.
De Grisogono also purchased the rights to market a 404-carat rough diamond from Nemesis International in May. According to Rapaport News, that stone was recovered by Lucapa Diamond Company (ASX:LOM) at its Lulo mine in Angola.
Three days ago Lucapa dug a 38.6-carat pink diamond, also from Lulo. The coloured stone is the largest “fancy” pink diamond recovered to date from the mine. The Australian company reportedly sold it last week as part of a parcel of other rocks for a total of $5.8 million.