A massive emerald-cut diamond fashioned from Lucapa Diamond's 404 carat rough stone - the largest rough diamond ever recovered in Angola - will go under the hammer on November 14 at Christie’s in Geneva. "Set into an asymmetric necklace designed by de GRISOGONO, this 163.41 carat, flawless D-colour emerald-cut diamond is the largest ever to come to auction", reads the press release from the auction house. In February 2016, Lucapa Diamond Company announced the discovery of the biggest recorded diamond in Angola, confirmed as a Type IIa D-color gem-quality stone. The 404-carat diamond from the Perth-based company’s Lulo project is also the 27th biggest recorded diamond in the world and the biggest diamond ever discovered by an Australian company.
Nikolas Polka, CEO of diamond consortium Nemesis International, bought the rough stone and turned to Fawaz Gruosi, founder and creative director of De Grisogono, a Geneva-based jeweler. A team of more than 10 specialists transformed the 404.20 carat diamond - the largest they had ever worked with - into the final cut-and-polished gem. Christie's statement describes how, "Diamond expert Isaac Barhorin spent weeks examining the stone in different lights ... ‘I start by seeing what the stone can give,’ Barhorin explains. ‘I am looking for cracks, grainy spots, feathers and carbon spots, and I will build the stone around these. The goal is to reach an internally flawless stone.’ Using a felt-tip pen, he marked where the first cuts should fall.. They go on to explain how, "On 29 June 2016, after months of analysis, 80-year-old master diamond cleaver Ben Green was ready to go to work. A diamond cutter since 1964, Green is respected as the number-one cleaver in the world. ‘Diamond is like wood, it has a grain,’ he says. ‘You can saw it or divide it along the grain.’ Using the traditional low-tech tools of the diamond cleaver’s trade - dark cement to hold the diamond in place on the wooden stump, a loupe and two flat blades- Green split the stone cleanly in two."
The jewel that was extracted from it is one of the largest D-Flawless emerald-cut diamonds the GIA has ever seen, and the largest ever to be offered for sale at auction. "The extreme rarity of a diamond of this quality cannot be overstated," GIA researchers wrote in their monograph on the stone. De GRISOGONO founder Fawaz Gruosi and his team of five master craftsmen and women then setting about transforming this hug stone into a wearable piece of jewelry. Gruosi and his team eventually decided on an asymmetric design featuring 18 emerald-cut diamonds on one side, with the 163.41-carat diamond as the centrepiece. After being sent on a tour to Hong Kong, London, Dubai and New York, the 163.41 carat, flawless D-colour emerald-cut diamond will be offered in Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale on 14 November in Geneva.