Geneva–When “The Art of de Grisogono, Creation I” necklace hits the auction block Nov. 14 in Geneva, the 163.41-carat diamond center stone will be the largest flawless, D-color diamond ever auctioned, according to Christie’s.
The road to reaching this record began in Angola at the Lulo mine in February 2016, with miner Lucapa’s discovery of the largest diamond ever found in the country, and 27th largest in the world, a 404.2-carat piece of rough.
Named the “4 de Fevereiro,” in honor of Angola’s Independence Day, de Grisogono acquired the Type IIa rough stone through its partnership with diamond trading company Nemesis International.
Here is the 404.2-carat “4 de Fevereiro” rough diamond, dug up last year at Lucapa’s Lulo mine in Angola. It holds the record of being the 27th largest rough ever mined and biggest diamond ever discovered in Angola.
The 400-plus carat stone took 10 diamond cutting experts 11 months to analyze, map, laser cut and polish. The first cleave was done by hand in New York on June 29, 2016 and the completed emerald cut, 163.41-carat diamond was graded by the GIA in December 2016, then delivered to Geneva to de Grisogono founder Fawaz Gruosi.
Gruosi, who created de Grisogono in 1993, and his team created 50 potential designs for the stone and in February 2017 settled on what is now “The Art of de Grisogono, Creation I” an asymmetric collar featuring emerald-cut diamonds on one side and pear-shaped emeralds on the other.
“The green gives great contrast and enhances both colors,” Gruosi explained in a press release, “and, being Italian, I am superstitious. Green means good luck–you will see a lot of it in my collections.”
Over the next six months, 14 master craftspeople–consisting of eight jewelers, five setters and one engraver–spent 1,700 hours making Creation I by hand.
The stunning masterpiece features 18 emerald-cut diamonds that are graduated in size from 0.48 to 8.10 carats, totaling 48.64 carats.
A total of 862 brilliant-cut diamonds adorn the settings of these emerald-cut stones, totaling 6.52 carats. The setting of the 163.41-carat diamond, specifically, is 399 brilliant-cut diamonds, and the prongs are set with four baguette-cut diamonds.
Not to be outdone by the diamonds, 5,949 brilliant-cut emeralds totaling 38.84 carats serve as accents for the 66 pear-cut emeralds featured, which weigh 120.42 carats total. The clasp of the collar is hidden under a 0.54-carat emerald.
This image shows the product of 11 months of analysis, mapping, laser- cutting and polishing by 10 diamond cutting experts of the 404.2-carat “4 de Fevereiro” rough diamond, which resulted in a 163.41-carat emerald-cut stone.
The little white gold that is visible in the design is plated in black rhodium, for what de Grisogono says is meant to invoke a chiaroscuro effort.
The diamond centerpiece may be detached from the collar and when Creation I sells, de Grisogono is willing to work with the buyer on other modular designs, so that the diamond can be incorporated into a cuff, tiara or brooch, for example.
Creation I is the first in a series of high jewelry creations de Grisogono plans to sell through Christie’s, using important diamonds that are notable in terms of scale and quality.
International Head of Christie’s Jewels, Rahul Kadakia, said: “Over our 251-year history, Christie’s has had the privilege of handling the world’s rarest and most historic diamonds. The sensational 163.41- carat perfect diamond suspended from an elegant emerald and diamond necklace propels de Grisogono into a class of their own.”
The Art of de Grisogono, Creation I is on view now in Hong Kong, and will make stops next in London, Dubai and in New York at Rockefeller Center between Nov. 3 and 6, before heading to Christie’s Geneva, where it will be on view at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues.
“The Art of de Grisogono, Creation I” is the first in a series of high jewelry designs de Grisogono will create using rare and important diamonds, and will sell through Christie’s.