What It’s Like to Cut the World’s Most Expensive Diamond?

Keeping in mind that it is very rare that a diamond like the Blue Moon diamond comes to auction, it is a noteworthy event to share with the world. Last November 2015 a 12.03ct vivid blue flawless diamond sold for nearly $50 million dollars. Not a lot of players in this market and they all came looking. In the end the rough piece went for approximately $26 million and the scene was set for the cutting to bring out the best price possible. Imagine if cut incorrectly it could have been a worthless rock.

Diamonds like this piece are extremely rare, and even more rare in the opportunity to cut such a magnificent piece of nature. The planning to cut such a rare piece of earths treasure is a forthright process of accessing the color and size to maximize the presentation for jewelry designers to work with. They considered an emerald and round cut prior to settling on the cushion cut. Color was the priority factor in the cut design that was used, the cushion cut achieved it’s desired affect on the auction public.

blue_moondiamondIn November, Sotheby’s sold the Blue Moon, the 12.03 ct. internally flawless vivid blue cushion cut, for $48.5 million, setting a world record for a diamond at auction.  Before that, however, the stone, discovered at the Cullinan mine in South Africa, was a 29.62 ct. piece of rough, which was purchased by Cora International for $25.6 million at a February 2014 tender.

But what happened in between? How is cutting such a rare and valuable stone—one significant enough to be exhibited at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County—different from cutting any other stone?

Below, Cora chairman Ehud Laniado gives JCK an exclusive look at the process.

Bidding on the stone. When assessing the rough at tender, the main thing is to gauge the color and the recovery. That usually doesn’t take more than a half hour. Then you do the homework, thinking about all the options. Even though the Blue Moon was a straightforward stone, there were a few options, and we added them up.

We basically estimated the value of the end product, how much it will be worth at transaction prices on the market. We estimated the polished will reach from $40 million to $45 million. You discount the possibility that you might be stuck with it. Then you subtract the duration of the process, the margin, your expenses. You take into account this is a high-risk process because you don’t know 100 percent how a natural material will behave. READ MORE…

About Rob

I have been designing military coins and jewelry for nearly 40 years now.