The Incomparable Diamond

22.06.08

Magnificent Diamond Found in Trash

Dianne Khan, 1791 Diamonds, blog, Incomparable Diamond - rough

Imagine playing in a pile of rubble and discovering one of the world's most magnificent diamonds. That's exactly what happened to a small girl in the Congo. A nearby diamond mine would regularly dump its waste material near her uncle's house, and in that waste was a seemingly uninteresting lump of rock containing an 890 carat yellow diamond that was to become known as The Incomparable Diamond.

Imagine playing in a pile of rubble and discovering one of the world's most magnificent diamonds. That's exactly what happened to a small girl in the Congo. A nearby diamond mine would regularly dump its waste material near her uncle's house, and in that waste was a seemingly uninteresting lump of rock containing an 890 carat yellow diamond that was to become known as The Incomparable Diamond.

The diamond was bought and sold several times, until it came into the hands of De Beers. De Beers then sold it to Donald Zale, who unveiled it in November 1984 to celebrate Zale Corporation's their Diamond Anniversary.

Ugly duckling

The original diamond looks not unlike a lump of amber - unusual but certainly not spectacular. The diamond was studied carefully for four years before any cutting took place. The cutters had a very difficult decision to make should they go for a diamond bigger than the Cullinan, making it the biggest cut diamond in the world, or make it smaller but take out the imperfections?

In the end, the cutters went for perfection over size, and cleaving of the diamond began. The fragments cut from the original stone were shaped into 14 smaller diamonds, weighing from 6.01 to 1.33 carats. It is interesting to note that these diamonds showed a variety of shades of yellow and brown colours as the original rough diamond had variations in shade throughout it that had not been noticed until cutting. began.

World Class Diamond for Sale

Dianne Khan, 1791 Diamonds, blog, Incomparable Diamond

The largest piece was cut and shaped until it produced an internally flawless, fancy brownish-yellow, 407.48 carat diamond - the third largest in the world. It was truly magnificent. In 1988 the gem was offered at auction under the name "The Golden Giant", but by the time it next came up for auction it had the name it is now famously known by - The Incomparable. The auction did not meet its US$20 million reserve, the highest bid being a record-breaking US$12 million - the highest price bid for a single stone to that date.

It is reported that The Incomparable was put up for sale on Ebay in 2002, with an opening bid of around US$15 million. The item description didn't mention The Incomprable by name, although its Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) certificate and stone specifications were listed, and the auction ran out with the diamond unsold.

Where the diamond is now is unclear. Maybe it's time to check granny's cupboards and under the mattress just in case you have a 407 carat yellow-brown diamond hiding behind those old magazines, photographs and nick-nacks...!

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Dianne is the blog and Customer Services fairy for online jewellery company 1791 Diamonds Limited, proud supplier of unique designer gold and platinum diamond engagement rings.

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