Lareef A. Samad B.Sc (Hons)
The Chloe diamond gets its name from the 12-year old daughter of Georges Marciano, the co-founder of the clothing company Guess Inc. producers of the internationally renowned Guess Jeans. Georges Marciano purchased the diamond at a Sotheby's magnificent jewels auction held in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 14, 2007, and decided to name the hitherto unnamed diamond after his 12-year old daughter.
84.37-carat, D-color, internally flawless, brilliant-cut Chloe Diamond - World's largest D-color internally flawlesss round brilliant-cut diamond to be sold at an auction
The Chloe diamond is a rare, D-color, brilliant-cut diamond with a weight of 84.37 carats, and an internally flawless clarity grade. D-color is the highest color grade for a white diamond which is equivalent to absolutely colorless. Besides the highest color and clarity grades given to the diamond by the Gemological Institute of America, it has also been assigned the "Triple X" designation, for the excellence of its cut, polish and symmetry.
Chloe Diamond - Assigned Triple-X designation by GIA for the excellence of its cut, polish and symmetry
Being a D-color diamond the Chloe diamond is a Type IIa diamond, which are said to be the "purest of the pure" of all diamonds. The diamond is Type II because of the absence of nitrogen impurities or presence of undetectable quantities of nitrogen impurities, in the crystal structure of the diamond. Type II diamonds constitute only about 1-2 % of all naturally occurring diamonds. Thus more than 98 % of diamonds are nitrogen-containing Type I diamonds.
The diamond is Type IIa, because it is not only free of nitrogen impurities but also free of other impurities such as boron and hydrogen. Thus these diamonds are chemically pure diamonds. The Chloe diamond is not only chemically pure but also structurally perfect. In the absence of factors that cause color in diamonds such as impurities and structural imperfections in the crystal, the diamond is absolutely colorless. Thus the Chloe diamond is a structurally perfect Type IIa diamond. These diamonds constitute only about 1-2 % of all naturally occurring diamonds.
Type II diamonds that contain boron as impurities are known as Type IIb. Boron imparts a blue color to diamonds. However their occurrence is only about 0.1 % of naturally occurring diamonds.
Another view of the Chloe Diamond - The 3rd largest D-color Flawless Round brilliant-cut diamond in the world
The diamond is of Angolan origin, probably discovered in the year 2005, from the alluvial diamond deposits of the northeastern part of the country. Diamonds originating in Angola had previously earned a notoriety as "blood diamonds" as they were responsible for fuelling the long drawn out civil war between the Government of Angola forces and the UNITA rebels. However with the end of the civil war and restoration of peace in 2002, and the Government of Angola joining the Kimberley process, diamonds originating from Angola, and handled by the state-owned diamond company, are considered to be "clean diamonds."
Map of Angola - Alluvial diamond mines and kimberlite pipes are found in the Lunda Norte Province of north-eastern Angola.
The Chloe diamond was purchased in the year 2005, by Ron Cohen - a Jewish diamond dealer who is the chief executive officer of the Los Angles based company Clean Diamonds Inc. - from the state-run diamond company of Angola, Endiama, the only legal seller of diamonds in Angola. The diamond had gone through the Kimberley process and had been certified as a clean diamond. Ron Cohen says that the name of his company "Clean Diamonds" signifies two important facts, viz. that his company deals only with Kimberley certified "clean diamonds" and that they only work with highest quality diamonds known in the industry as "clean" for their clarity and purity.
The Kimberley process is a policy formulated on the initiative of the United Nations, on the orderly marketing of diamonds, in order to exclude "conflict diamonds" or "blood diamonds" from the legitimate international diamond market, so as to prevent the financing of war through the sale of such diamonds. All stakeholders in the international diamond industry, which included the international diamond mining companies, international diamond dealers, the Central Selling Organization that controls the international diamond trade, diamond producing countries, diamond processing companies, and non-governmental organizations have been brought together in formulating this policy. Blood diamonds have been implicated in the civil wars of many diamond producing African countries, such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola and the Congo. Under this arrangement legitimate diamonds are provided with certificates of origin known as Kimberley Certificate, which has to accompany the diamond from the time of production until it reaches the end users of the diamonds. No diamonds could be exported from one country to another without an accompanying Kimberley Certificate.
Kimberley Process Logo
The Kimberley Process (KP) is a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. http://www.kimberleyprocess.com
The rough diamond weighed 365 carats, and according to Cohen the diamond was large enough to cover his entire palm. He examined the rough diamond and was convinced that it was a gem-quality diamond. Having purchased the diamond, Cohen made a detailed study of the stone that took him more than an year, to decide on the best way to cut it. Finally he decided that the round brilliant was the ideal way to cut the stone, and eventually got the job executed in Antwerp, Belgium. When the processing of the diamond was complete it weighed only 84.37 carats, resulting in an enormous loss of 280.63 carats, equivalent to 77 %. Such enormous losses are usually encountered in the creation of round brilliant diamonds, and the Chloe was no exception. In any case Cohen's decision to go in for a brilliant-cut sacrificing quantity for the sake of quality, was vindicated, when the GIA awarded a "Triple X" designation for the diamond, in view of the excellence of its cut, polish and symmetry.
"It's a very rare diamond," said Ziad Al-Ahmadi, a rough diamond dealer and co-founder of Matrix Diamond Technology, in Antwerp, Belgium. "The only other stone of around that size and quality I know of was a 90.97-carat stone, the Icon/Safia diamond, a Graff diamond cut a few years ago, and it could well be that there are only two or three round-shaped polished diamonds of this size and quality in existence.
Ziad Al-Ahmadi's prediction was correct. In fact the 84.37-carat Chloe Diamond is the 3rd-largest, D-color, flawless, round brilliant-cut diamond in the world, the 2nd-largest being the 90.97-carat Icon/Safiya Diamond, a Graff diamond, which in the year 2000, became the largest D-color, flawless, round brilliant-cut diamond in the world.
90.97-carat Icon/Safiya Diamond - Largest D-color Flawless Round brilliant-cut diamond in the world in the year 2000
Today, the world's largest, D-color, flawless, round brilliant-cut diamond is the 102.79-carat Graff Constellation diamond, the main satellite diamond cut from the 478-carat Light of Letseng (Leseli La Letseng) rough diamond, by the highly skilled team of engineers and polishers of Diamcad (Diamond Computer-Aided Design) - a technology driven highly innovative diamond processing company, based in Antwerp, Belgium - and commissioned by SAFDICO (South African Diamond Corporation), a subsidiary and manufacturing arm of Graff Diamonds, who were owners of the diamond. The Graff Constellation, the world's first round-brilliant, D-color, flawless diamond to exceed 100 carats in weight, was unveiled by Laurence Graff in the year 2010, and became the world's largest, D-color, internally flawless, round brilliant-cut diamond, pushing the 90.97-carat Icon/Safiya Diamond, which occupied this position from the year 2000 to 2010, to second place.
102.79-carat Graff Constellation diamond, world's largest D-color flawless round brilliant-cut diamond
Having completed the cutting of the diamond, Mr. Cohen decided to consign it with Sotheby's with the sole intention of providing an international exposure to the rare gem, which only a renowned auction house like Sotheby's would be able to achieve. The diamond was showcased by Sotheby's in many cities around the world, such as London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Rome, Dubai, Bahrain and Hong Kong, before the Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels auction held in Geneva on November 14, 2007. The diamond was highly acclaimed in all these cities for its exceptional characteristics, such as color, clarity, cut, polish, symmetry, and carat weight. Eventually, when the actual sale took place in Geneva's historic Beau Rivage Hotel, the auction room was packed with around 300 diamond dealers, connoisseurs, collectors, and jewelry manufacturers. The estimated value placed on the diamond before the auction was between US$ 13.3 million and US$ 17.8 million. The bidding for the diamond was strong and competitive, with two buyers bidding hard at the end, one of whom was bidding by telephone from California. The winning bid was made by telephone from Beverly Hills, California, by Georges Marciano, the co-founder of Guess Jeans.
Georges Marciano - Co-founder of Guess Jeans
Georges Marciano says that after he saw a news spot on the CNN about the diamond, he was captivated. This provided the incentive for him to make an attempt to own it, when it came up for auction on November 14th, 2007. Ron Cohen the owner of the diamond, deliberately refrained from giving a name or even a nick name for the diamond, and passed on the privilege of naming the diamond to its prospective buyer. Accordingly, Georges Marciano baptized the diamond "Chloe Diamond" in honor of his 12-year old daughter.
The purchase price of the diamond was US$ 16,189,769 million ( 18.2 million Swiss francs), and the 84.37-carat, white brilliant-cut diamond, became the second most expensive jewel ever auctioned, the first being the 100.1-carat, D-color, pear-shaped, internally flawless, "Star of the Season" diamond which was sold in 1995, also by Sotheby's for US$ 16.5 million, to the Saudi-based renowned jeweler and diamond collector, Sheik Ahmed Hassan Fitaihi. A quick computation shows that the price per carat paid for the Chloe diamond is US$ 191,890. The price per carat for the "Star of the Season" diamond was US$ 164,835. Thus the price per carat paid for the Chloe diamond, is the highest price per carat ever paid for a white diamond at an auction. The Chloe diamond was also the largest, purest white, flawless, round brilliant-cut diamond ever sold at an auction.
100.1-carat, D-color, pear-shaped, internally flawless, Star of the Season diamond - the most expensive jewel ever auctioned as of year 1995
David Bennett, chairman of Jewelry at Sotheby's Europe and Middle East division, told reporters after conducting the sale, "It's just a whisker under the world record. This stone had the ability to take my breath away. It really is the paradigm of a diamond- the essence of bling." He further stated that, "the results achieved tonight for the Chloe diamond is one of the highlights of my career. It has been a privilege to work on the marketing and sale of this magnificent stone, which ranks among the most beautiful diamonds I have ever seen."
Ron Cohen, the seller of the diamond, said, "I am absolutely delighted with the fantastic results achieved tonight by Sotheby's for this phenomenal, 84.37-carat stone. Having taken over two years to plan and cut the stone, I decided to consign it with Sotheby's for the amount of exposure that I was confident the auction house will be able to provide internationally. Tonight's sale price has vindicated my decision." He further said, "I congratulate Georges Marciano for his purchase and wish him all the best with the stone." Cohen is pleased that Marciano bought the stone, and that he named it after his daughter. The two spoke by phone shortly after the sale. "It's funny, we both live in Beverly Hills but we went to Geneva for this ! We talked and said we're going to drink some champagne together this week, to celebrate."
The total sales achieved at the magnificent jewels sales of Sotheby's at Geneva, Switzerland, on November 14, 2007, which included the Chloe diamond, was approximately US$ 57 million, bringing the total for the year 2007 for magnificent jewels sold at Sotheby's, Switzerland, to US$ 106,019,622, the highest total for annual sales of jewelry in Switzerland since 1995.
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)
1) Feature / Georges Marciano sees the light and calls it Chloe - 15th November, 2007. www.genevalunch.com
2) Georges Marciano - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
3) New Diamond Exploration in Angola - 31st July 2008. www.miningreview.com
4) How does the Kimberley Process work? - www.kimberleyprocess.com
Dr Shihaan Larif
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