The Beluga Diamond

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Lareef A. Samad B.Sc (Hons)

Origin of Name

According to William Goldberg's website, the 102-carat oval-shaped beluga diamond is the largest D-color, internally flawless, oval-cut diamond in history. Hence, it appears that the name "Beluga" had been deliberately chosen by the company, to reflect these outstanding characteristics, particularly the D-color or top-color of the diamond, popularly known as white diamonds, sometimes referred to in superlatives such as "whiter than white," "brighter than bright," "diamonds of the purest water" etc. The English word "beluga" is of late 16th-century origin and appears to have been derived from the Russian word "Belukha" which in turn comes from the Russian word "belyi" meaning white. In common parlance the word "beluga" came to be used, to refer to, at first to a small white toothed whale, Delphinapterus leucas, reaching a length of about 4 meters, related to the Narwhal (tusked whales), living in herds mainly in Arctic coastal waters, sometimes also referred to as the white whale. Subsequently, the word "beluga" also came to be applied to the large white sturgeon,the beluga sturgeon (Huso huso, or Acipenser huso) found in the Caspian and Black Seas and the Sea of Azov, that can reach a length of 7.5 meters and weight of 1,300 kg, but whose flesh and caviar are less valuable than those of smaller species. In modern usage the name "beluga" had been extended further to refer to man-made creations such as the wide-bodied super transporter, the Beluga Airbus, the Russian Beluga class submarines and the World War I United States Navy Patrol Vessel, the USS Beluga.

Beluga White Whale in the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada

Beluga White Whale in the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada

Photo above CC

Stan Shebs


Beluga Sturgeon Huso huso

Beluga Sturgeon - Huso huso


Beluga Airbus A300-600ST - Super Transporter

Beluga Airbus A300-600ST - Super Transporter

Photo above CC

Characteristics of the Diamond

The 4Cs of the diamond

The Beluga Diamond is a D-color, internally flawless, modern oval brilliant cut diamond weighing 102 carats.

Oval-cut, D-color, internally flawless Beluga Diamond

Oval-cut, D-color, internally flawless Beluga Diamond

 

The Beluga Diamond is a rare Type IIa diamond

Being a D-color or Top-color diamond, the Beluga is a rare Type IIa diamond, which are also known as the "purest of the pure" of all diamonds, and described in superlatives as "whiter than white," brighter than bright," "diamonds of the purest water" etc. These diamonds are not only chemically pure but also structurally perfect. Two main factors that cause color in diamonds are 1) chemical impurities such as nitrogen, boron, hydrogen and 2) structural abnormalities such as plastic deformations in the crystal, that impart fancy color to diamonds. In the absence of these two factors, the diamonds are absolutely colorless and fall under the D-color grading also known as "Top color." Such diamonds however, constitute only about 1-2% of all naturally occurring diamonds.

 

A combination of rare characteristics makes the Beluga Diamond one of the most famous diamonds in the world

The occurrence of D-color is indeed very rare, but the combination of D-color and internally flawless clarity is still rarer. A further combination of a rare oval-cut and a weight of more than 100 carats, makes the Beluga diamond one of the rarest and most famous diamonds in the world. Hence the characterization of the Beluga Diamond by William Goldberg Diamond Corporation as the "largest D-color, internally flawless, oval-cut diamond in history" is certainly not far from the truth.

 

Beluga Diamond being held by one of the workers of William Goldberg Diamond Corporation

Beluga Diamond being held by one of the workers of William Goldberg Diamond Corporation


Close-up of the Beluga Diamond

Close-up of the Beluga Diamond

 

Position of Beluga Diamond in the list of known faceted famous diamonds greater than 100 carats in weight

The following table is a "comprehensive" list of 69 known faceted famous diamonds in the world greater than 100 carats arranged in descending order of weights. The table was painstakingly collated by our staff after collecting all available information. The list may not be entirely comprehensive as some diamonds might have been inadvertently omitted or due to lack of precise information. We have tried our best to make the list all inclusive. The list will be revised as more information on other new diamonds are received.

In this list the 102.00-carat Beluga Diamond occupies the 61st-position, below the 102.48-carat Ashberg Diamond.

 

List of Famous Diamonds Greater than 100 carats in weight arranged in descending order of weights

S/N

Name
carat weight
shape/cut

color

1
Golden Jubilee
545.67
cushion
fancy yellow-brown
2
Cullinan I
530.20
pear
colorless/white
3
Unnamed Black Diamond
489.07
rectangular-cut
black
4
Incomparable
407.48
shield shaped
fancy brownish yellow
5
Cullinan II
317.40
cushion
colorless/white
6
Spirit of de Grisogono
312.24
old moghul-cut
black
7
Centenary
273.85
modified-heart
colorless/white
8
Oppenheimer
253.70
natural octahedral
yellow
9
Jubilee
245.35
cushion
colorless/white
10
De Beers
234.65
cushion
light yellow
11
Red Cross
205.07
cushion
canary yellow
12
Millennium Star
203.04
pear
colorless/white
13
Unnamed
200.87
pear
yellow
14
La Luna
200.07
heart-shaped
colorless/white
15
Orlov
189.62
rose-cut
colorless/white
16
Darya-i-Nur
186
table-cut
light pink
17
Jacob-Victoria
184.50
rectangular-cushion cur
colorless/white
18
Moon
183
round
pale yellow
19
Unnamed
180.85
briolette
yellow
20
Star of Peace
170.49
pear
brownish-yellow
21
Table of Islam
160.18
emerald-cut
black
22
Unnamed
150.00
emerald
yellow
23
Regent
140.64
cushion
colorless/white
24
Paragon
137.82
7-sided
colorless/white
25
Florentine
137.27
double rose-cut
light yellow
26
Premier Rose
137.02
pear
colorless/white
  Queen of Holland 135.92
cushion
colorless/white
27
Algeiba Star
135.03
square-brilliant
yellow
28
Sarah
132.43
cushion
fancy vivid yellow
29
Golden Hue
132.42
cushion
yellow
 
Zale Light of Peace
130.27
pear
colorless/white
30
Tiffany Yellow
128.54

cushion

canary yellow
31
Star of the South
128.48
cushion
fancy light pinkish-brown
32
Niarchos
128.25
pear
colorless/white
33
Portuguese
127.02
asscher
colorless/white
34
Jonker
125.35
emerald
colorless/white
35
Stewart
123.00
round-brilliant
yellow
36
Delaire Sunrise
118.08
square emerald-cut
fancy vivid yellow
37
Meister
118.00
cushion
yellow
38
Vainer Briolette
116.60
briolette
fancy light yellow
39
Hope of Africa
115.91
cushion
fancy vivid yellow
40
Al-Nader
115.83
pear
colorless/white
41
Gruosi Diamond
115.34
heart-shaped
black
42
Taj-i-Mah
115.06
moghul-cut
colorless/white
43
Edna Star
115.0
emerald
colorless/white
44
Unnamed
114.64
briolette
yellow
45
Unnamed
114.03
cushion
yellow
46
Mouna
112.50
cushion
fancy intense yellow
47
African Yellow
112.00
yellow
48
Earth Star
111.59
pear
brown
49
Cross of Asia
109.26
radiant
light brown
50
Koh-i-Noor
108.93
oval
colorless/white
51
Mouawad Magic
108.81
emerald
colorless/white
52
Anon
108.04
emerald
yellow
53
Rojtman
107.46
cushion
yellow
54
Cartier
107.07
pear
colorless/white
55
Golden Sun
105.54
emerald
yellow
56
Star of Egypt
105.51
emerald
colorless/white
57
Golden Door
104.95
pear
yellow
58
Geat Chrysanthemum
104.61
pear
fancy brown
59
Graff Constellation
102.79
round brilliant
colorless/white
60
Ashberg
102.48
cushion
dark orange yellow/amber
61
Beluga Diamond
102.00
modern oval brilliant
colorless/white
62
Mouawad Splendour
101.84
pear
colorless/white
63
The Alnatt
101.29
cushion
fancy vivid yellow
64
The Golden Star
101.28
cushion
fancy vivid yellow
65
Star of America
100.57
asscher
colorless/white
66
Sunrise
100.52
emerald
yellow
67
Star of Happiness
100.36
radiant
colorless/white
68
Star of the Season
100.10
pear
colorless/white
69
Graff Vivid Yellow
100.09
cushion
fancy vivid yellow

©internetstones.com

 

Position of Beluga Diamond in the list of famous D-color diamonds over 100 carats in weight. Beluga is the 2nd largest oval cut diamond in the world, but the first largest modern oval brilliant cut diamond in the world

In the list of famous D-color diamonds over 100 carats in weight the Beluga Diamond occupies the 25th position. This list also shows that the 102.00-carat Beluga diamond is in fact the second largest oval-cut diamond in the world, after the 108.93-carat Koh-i-Noor Diamond the largest oval-cut D-color diamond in the world. However, the oval cut in Koh-i-Noor is a 19th-century cut, and the oval shape is short and fat and more closer towards a spherical shape. The Beluga on the other hand is a modern oval brilliant cut diamond, a cut that was invented by Lazare Kaplan in the early 1960s. The shape of the Beluga is an elliptical oval shape, considered to be the standard modern oval shape for a diamond. Hence the Beluga diamond, is undoubtedly the largest modern oval brilliant cut diamond in the world.

 

List of famous D-color diamonds over 100 carats in weight

S/N

Name
Carat Weight

Color

Shape/Cut

1
Cullinan I
530.20
colorless/white
pear
2
Cullinan II
317.40
colorless/white
cushion
3
Centenary
273.85
colorless/white
modified heart
4
Jubilee
245.35
colorless/white
cushion
5
Millennium Star
203.04
colorless/white
pear
6
La Luna
200.07
colorless/white
heart
7
Orlov
189.62
colorless/white
rose
8
Jacob-Victoria
184.50
colorless/white
rectangular-cushion
9
Regent
140.64
colorless/white
cushion
10
Paragon
137.82
colorless/white
7-sided
11
Premier Rose
137.02
colorless/white
pear
12
Queen of Holland
135.92
colorless/white
cushion
13
Zale Light of Peace
130.27
colorless/white
pear
14
Niarchos
128.25
colorless/white
pear
15
Portuguese
127.02
colorless/white
asscher
16
Jonker
125.35
colorless/white
emerald
17
Al-Nader
115.83
colorless/white
pear
18
Taj-i-Mah
115.06
colorless/white
moghul
19
Edna Star
115.00
colorless/white
emerald
20
Koh-i-Nur
108.93
colorless/white
oval
21
Mouawad Magic
108.81
colorless/white
emerald
22
Cartier
107.07
colorless/white
pear
23
Star of Egypt
105.51
colorless/white
emerald
24 Graff Constellation 102.79 colorless/white round brilliant
25 Beluga Diamond 102.00 colorless/white modern oval brilliant
26
Mouawad Splendor
101.84
colorless/white
pear
27
Star of America
100.57
colorless/white
asscher
28
Star of Happiness
100.36
colorless/white
radiant
29
Star of the Season
100.10
colorless/white
pear

©internetstones.com

108.93-carat Oval-cut Koh-i-Noor Diamond

108.93-carat Oval-cut Koh-i-Noor Diamond - the Largest Oval-cut Diamond in the World

 

History of the Diamond

Early History of the Diamond

The early history of the diamond such as the country and mine of origin, the date of discovery, the circumstances surrounding the discovery, the person or persons involved in the discovery etc. are not known. However, the cut employed on the diamond gives an indication of the possible period in which the diamond originated. The modern oval brilliant cut employed, also known as the oval modified brilliant, was a cut of recent origin, developed by the master cutter, Lazare Kaplan in the early 1960s. Hence the Beluga Diamond most probably originated after the early 1960s. A study of the cuts employed on the satellite diamonds created after the cutting of the main diamond, throws further light on the period of origin of the rough diamond. The second biggest diamond created from the rough, is an Ashoka-cut diamond, a cut patented by the company in the year 2000. This helps to narrow down the period of origin of the rough diamond, from approximately the year 2000 to the year 2002, when the diamond appeared in an article in the National Geographic Magazine.

 

The Beluga is featured in an article in the March 2002 issue of the National Geographic Magazine

The Beluga Diamond was featured in an article on blood diamonds in the March 2002 issue of the National Geographic Magazine. The title of the article "Diamonds - The Real Story" is printed in bold letters at the bottom of the coverpage, against the background of an image of a film of blood in red, superimposed by scattered round brilliant-cut diamonds, taking the place of red blood cells, driving home the main theme of the article, viz. blood diamonds. The New York based William Goldberg Diamond Corporation had been in the forefront, together with other leading diamond companies based in America and Europe, in the battle against blood diamonds reaching the US markets, the main consuming nation of diamonds in the world.

Cover page of the National Geographic Magazine March 2002 issue

Cover page of the National Geographic Magazine March 2002 issue

 

The weight and shape of the rough diamond

The weight of the rough diamond was 265.82 carats. The rough diamond was described as an odd-shaped stone, with a frosted exterior that masked the interior of the stone and any imperfections contained therein.

 

The Cutting of the Diamond

The cutting of the diamond was undertaken by a team of master cutters of William Goldberg Diamond Corporation.

The frosted exterior precluded a detailed study of the interior of the diamond, unless a window was created by making the first cut on the stone; a task that was undertaken after a detailed study of the exterior. Eventually the first cut was made, and the window created uncovered the rare quality of the diamond. After a detailed study of the diamond the master cutters of the company severed the diamond into at least four pieces, one large piece of over 100 carats, a medium-sized piece and two smaller pieces. In keeping with the elongated shape of the larger piece, the master cutters decided to transform it into a modern oval-cut brilliant also known as the oval modified brilliant. Accordingly after several months of painstaking labour, the largest rough diamond piece, was eventually transformed into the largest, D-color, internally flawless modern oval-cut brilliant in the world, weighing 102.00 carats. The diamond was appropriately named the "Beluga Diamond" and became a living testimony to the expertise possessed by the company in the processing of diamonds of all types big and small. The Beluga Diamond is said to be the favorite diamond of Barry Berg of the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation.

 

The cutting of the satellite diamonds

After the completion of the processing of the Beluga Diamond, the master cutters of the company set about working on the smaller pieces, and created three satellite diamonds, with cut and polish not second in anyway to the finish of the main beluga diamond. The second largest piece was transformed into an Ashoka-cut diamond, a cut created and patented by the company in the year 2000. The 3rd-piece was transformed into a trilliant-cut and the fourth and smallest piece into a cushion-cut diamond.

 

Beluga and the three satellite diamonds

Beluga and the three satellite diamonds


Close-up of Ashoka-cut satellite diamond

Close-up of Ashoka-cut satellite diamond

 

Some of the famous diamonds created by the master cutters of William Goldberg Diamond Corporation

Among some of the other famous diamonds created by company are the 30.06-carat Blue Lili Diamond, the 75.51-carat briolette, the 89.01-carat Guinea Star, 8.9-carat Pink Muse, 137.02-carat Premier Rose, the 31-carat Little Rose, the 5.54-carat Pumpkin Diamond and the 5.11-carat Moussaieff Red. The company also pioneered and patented a new diamond cut in the year 2000, known as the Ashoka-cut, based on an ancient classical cut found on a 41.73-carat Indian diamond mined from the Golconda region, christened the Ashoka Diamond, in memory of the Buddhist warrior emperor Ashoka Maurya of the 3rd-century B.C.

For more details on William Goldberg Diamond Corporation, biography of William Goldberg and his contribution towards the development of the diamond industry please go to our webpage on the Blue Lili Diamond

 

You are welcome to discuss this post/related topics with Dr Shihaan and other experts from around the world in our FORUMS (forums.internetstones.com)

Back to Famous Diamonds

 

Related :-

Blue Lili Diamond

Moussaieff Red Diamond

Premier Rose Diamond

Pumpkin Diamond

 

External Links :-

http://www.williamgoldberg.com/about/famous_stones/bluelili/

http://www.williamgoldberg.com/about/famous_stones/beluga/

http://www.ashokadiamond.com/

http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/12/diamonds-jewelry-goldberg-lifestyle collecting_0212_diamond_jewelry_slide_4.html

References :-

1) The William Goldberg Diamond Collection - The History of the Ashoka Cut Diamond - ashokadiamond.blogspot.com

2) Ashoka by William Goldberg - www.ashokdiamond.com

3)The Blue Lili Diamond, 30-Carat Trapezoid - www.williamgoldberg.com/about/famous stones/bluelili/

4) Wiliam Goldberg - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

5) Diamond Cut - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

6) The Beluga - famousdiamonds.tripod.com

7) Diamonds That Rock : In Pictures - www.forbes.com

 


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