The Fabulous Five
@TheDiamondsGirl selects five diamonds unforgettable in beauty and story.By Tracey Ellison |
Seven years, twenty-four cities and more diamonds than I could ever count later, I can genuinely say that founding and growing TheDiamondsGirl has been the most extraordinary journey; I’m thankful for every single day that I get to spend my time doing something that evokes from within such passion and joy.
Diamonds—natural diamonds, to be precise—are a constant source of amazement to me. I am endlessly astounded by the fact that objects of such beauty are created deep within the Earth over millions of years. Needless to say, when the Natural Diamond Council tasked me with selecting five unforgettable diamonds, it was no easy matter: each and every diamond is unique and special in its own way.
The diamonds I ultimately selected have a story behind them. And it is the story—as much as the beauty of the stones—that earns them a place on my list.
1. Donnersmarck Diamonds
The Donnersmarck Diamonds is a pair of extraordinary Fancy intense yellow diamonds, which I was fortunate enough to see and hold at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Sale in Geneva in November 2017. Consisting of a cushion-shaped diamond weighing 102.54 carats and a pear-shaped diamond weighing 82.47 carats, the superb set makes my list not only because of their size and color, but because of their impeccable aristocratic provenance and romantic history.
The stones were gifted to La Païva (1819-1884), one of the most famous courtesans of the 19th century, by her much younger Prussian husband, Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck (1830–1916). Their relationship had been the talk of Paris, as he showered her with gems and jewels, including this incredible pair of diamonds. In 1855 they built a mansion on the Champs-Élysées with a marble staircase in a shade of yellow that was chosen to match the two diamonds (!!!).
It was surreal to hold them in the palm of my hand as I let my imagination run wild picturing 1800s Paris
2. Graff 107.46 Carat Fancy Yellow Cushion Cut Diamond
I first saw this exceptional stone at the Graff Boutique in Bal Harbour, and had the good fortune to be able to see it up close. A few months later it crossed my path again in Bahrain, and was every bit as mesmerizing as I remembered. All diamonds over 100 carats are astonishing, but this particular 107.46 fancy yellow catches and reflects the light in the most superb way imaginable.
The brooch in which it’s set, a superbly crafted Graff mounting with ribbons of white diamonds, just sold this past November at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Sale in Geneva for $2.6-$3.7M..
3. Chopard Garden of Kalahari
Once placed into the hand of the Chopard atelier artisans, The Queen of The Kalahari, a rough diamond of 342 carats that was discovered in the Botswana desert, was cut into an extraordinary collection of 23 diamonds. The Garden of Kalahari, as they are named, includes five diamonds over 20 carats, all are D color with F grade flawless clarity. They represent each of the most popular stone shapes: cushion: cushion, brilliant, heart, emerald and pear.
I saw this exceptional set at Baselworld, where Chopard was exhibiting at the time; though I had my regular appointment with the house to view their latest items, all I truly wanted to see was this suite!
Eventually, the stones were brought to me, presented as beautifully as stones of this quality deserve. Within moments a large crowd gathered around us—the wonderful Chopard timepieces seemed instantly forgotten as everyone waited excitedly for the case to open, clamoring for a glimpse. And when it did, it did not disappoint. In fact, the beauty and rarity of the collection left us all speechless. This was a truly unforgettable moment!
4. The Pink Promise
I am including this diamond not because it’s the biggest pink diamond I‘ve ever seen (Although it is one of the rarest!), but because I love the historic romance behind it. Described by Christie’s as the “Picasso of the Pink Diamond world,” the 14.93 carat fancy vivid VVS1 pink diamond, sold for an incredible $31,861,000, at approximately $2.13 million per carat.
The Fancy Vivid pink diamond was originally purchased by gemologist and jeweler Stephen Silver, who is known for his keen eye for gemstones. When he bought the stone for an undisclosed sum in 2013, it was originally a 16.21 carat fancy intense pink. However, Silver believed that the stone could achieve a higher color rating if it were cut differently to allow more light through it. Silver turned to a master gem cutter. Together they spent several years planning how to cut it, a risky endeavor that could cost them to lose millions of dollars in carat weight if a higher color rating wasn’t achieved.
I love the risk that Steven was prepared to take, opting for a smaller, higher graded diamond than the larger original stone.
The diamond was named The Pink Promise because of Steven’s unwavering belief that the diamond had greater promise than was evident in its original form.
5. The Art of de GRISOGONO
5. The Art of de GRISOGONO
Anyone who follows TheDiamondsGirl will know of my love for emerald cut diamonds. So of course, in 2017 at my own cost, I flew to the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels in Geneva specifically to view a certain rectangular-cut, D color flawless diamond of 163.41 carats
The largest flawless D color diamond ever to come to auction, to say that the beauty of this diamond left me speechless would be an understatement. Its clarity, purity and beauty were mesmerizing. Of course, the piece set a world auction record at its selling price of $33,705,994.
At the time of the auction, I was conflicted about sharing my love for this stone with the world, as controversy about de GRISOGONO’s ownership was emerging. In the end, I opted to share posts on it, as I felt rightly or wrongly, its rarity needed to be seen and appreciated by all.
A few years later, for various reasons including a leadership changeover, de GRISOGONO closed their doors.
It was the end of an era.
Those of us who had previously met the de GRISOGONO’s founder, Fawaz Grousi are left with memoirs of his extreme creativity and boldness regarding high jewelry. I believe is it these qualities that are perfectly portrayed in this single, unique piece.