The Gruosi diamond gets its name from Fawaz Gruosi, the renowned Swiss jewelry and watch designer, manufacturer and dealer, who undoubtedly will go down in the history of the jewelry industry, as the pioneering jewelry designer and manufacturer, who introduced the hitherto under-rated Carbonado or black diamond, as an ornamental gemstone, that could be set into extraordinarily beautiful black diamond jewelry masterpieces, which can stand on an equal footing, with their traditional non-black diamond counter parts. Being an experienced jewelry designer, Fawaz turned out some exquisite items of jewelry and watches, set with black diamonds.
The diamond is a 115.34-carat, heart-shaped, black diamond, which is the 5th biggest faceted black diamond in the world, after the 160.18-carat emerald-cut, "Table of Islam" diamond. See table below.
List of Famous Black Diamonds
|Name||Country/Period of Origin||Weight of Rough Diamond||Carat weight after cutting||Cut/Shape||
Price realized at last sale or auction
|1||Unnamed black diamond||489.07||Rectangular-cut||US$1.7 million|
|2||Spirit of de Grisogono Diamond||Central African Republic||587.00||312.24||Old Moghul-cut||Stone remains with original owner Fawaz Gruosi|
|3||The Black Star of Africa||Central African Republic||202.00||
Seen for the last time in Tokyo in 1971
|4||The Table of Islam||Central African Republic||160.18||Emerald cut|
|5||The Gruosi diamond||India||300.12||115.34||Heart-shaped||Stone remains with original owner Fawaz Gruosi|
|6||Korloff Noir Diamond||Russia||421.00||88.00||Round brilliant-cut with standard 57 facets||Property of Korloff Jewelers France|
|7||Black Orlov Diamond||India or Russia||195.00||67.50||Cushion-cut||US$360,000 Christie's NY. Oct.2006|
|8||Amsterdam Diamond||South Africa - 1972||55.85||33.74||Pear-shaped||US$352,000 Christie's Geneva. Nov|
Overall the Gruosi Black Diamond is the 41st faceted diamond in the world in terms of its weight and the 2nd largest heart-shaped diamond in the world after the 200.07-carat, D-color, heart-shaped La Luna diamond. It is also the largest heart-shaped black diamond in the world. See table below.
List of Famous Diamonds Greater than 100 carats in weight arranged in descending order of weights
|1||Golden Jubilee||545.67||cushion||fancy yellow-brown|
|3||Unnamed Black Diamond||489.07||rectangular-cut||black|
|4||Incomparable||407.48||shield shaped||fancy brownish yellow|
|6||Spirit of de Grisogono||312.24||old moghul-cut||black|
|10||De Beers||234.65||cushion||light yellow|
|11||Red Cross||205.07||cushion||canary yellow|
|20||Star of Peace||170.49||pear||brownish-yellow|
|21||Table of Islam||160.18||emerald-cut||black|
|25||Florentine||137.27||double rose-cut||light yellow|
|28||Sarah||132.43||cushion||fancy vivid yellow|
|31||Star of the South||128.48||cushion||fancy light pinkish-brown|
|36||Delaire Sunrise||118.08||square emerald-cut||fancy vivid yellow|
|38||Vainer Briolette||116.60||briolette||fancy light yellow|
|39||Hope of Africa||115.91||cushion||fancy vivid yellow|
|46||Mouna||112.50||cushion||fancy intense yellow|
|49||Cross of Asia||109.26||radiant||light brown|
|56||Star of Egypt||105.51||emerald||colorless/white|
|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|
|62||The Alnatt||101.29||cushion||fancy vivid yellow|
|63||The Golden Star||101.28||cushion||fancy vivid yellow|
|64||Star of America||100.57||asscher||colorless/white|
|66||Star of Happiness||100.36||radiant||colorless/white|
|67||Star of the Season||100.10||pear||colorless/white|
|68||Graff Vivid Yellow||100.09||cushion||fancy vivid yellow|
Please do not copy our tables without our permission. We may be compelled to inform the search engines if our content and tables are plagiarised.
The early history of the diamond is obscure. The diamond was said to have been discovered in India in 1998, and weighed 300.12 carats in the rough state. However, other important details such as the date of discovery, the mine of discovery, the name of the person who discovered the diamond, the person or company from whom the diamond was purchased etc. are not provided.
Polycrystalline black diamonds, known as Carbonados are found in alluvial deposits only in two countries in the world, Brazil and the Central African Republic. The 300.12-carat, Gruosi rough diamond is no doubt a polycrystalline diamond, judging from its extra hardness, the presence of fragile areas within the diamond, the difficulties involved in cutting the diamond and the loss of more than 50% of its original carat weight during cutting. If the diamond is polycrystalline its reported discovery in India, becomes doubtful, as diamonds discovered in India since very ancient times had their origin in kimberlite and lamproite pipes, that subsequently were incorporated in alluvial deposits after millions of years of erosion. Hence diamonds discovered in India are all monocrystalline conventional diamonds, that originated deep inside the earth's crust, in the mantle, under conditions of extremely high temperatures and pressures. Discovery of alluvial deposits of carbonados have never been reported in India. Hence origin of the Gruosi black diamond is most probably the Central African Republic, where the Spirit of de Grisogono diamond, another diamond purchased by Fawaz Gruosi also originated.
Having purchased the diamond, Gruosi entrusted its cutting to world renowned, black diamond cutters, based in Antwerp Belgium, headed by black diamond cutting specialist de Grisogono. Despite the expertise and experience of the diamantairs of Antwerp, the cutting of the Gruosi diamond proved very tricky and posed a serious challenge to the cutters, as the material that constituted the stone was fragile in certain areas and extraordinarily hard in other areas. Even though it was originally planned to have an oval shape, as the cutting progressed, it was decided to go in for a heart-shaped finished stone. It took three years for the diamond to be cut and polished and transformed into its perfect heart-shape. There was an inevitable loss of more than half its original carat weight. The finished diamond had a weight of 115.34 carats, equivalent to a loss of weight of 184.78 carats or 62%.
Drastic losses of weight in cutting black diamonds is not uncommon. The Spirit of de Grisogono black diamond which weighed 587 carats in the rough state, weighed only 312.24 carats in it's finished form, as an old Mughal-cut diamond, a loss of 47%. Likewise the Back Orlov that weighed 195 carats in the rough form, had a drastically reduced weight of only 67.50 carats in it's finished form as a cushion-cut, a loss of 65%. In the case of the Korloff Noir, the loss was even greater, almost 70%. The occurrence of such great losses in the processing of black diamonds, is quite understandable, as black diamonds are in fact more suitable for industrial purposes, and the occurrence of gem quality black diamonds is quite rare. Moreover, even in gem-quality black diamonds, the hardness of the stone may not be uniform, and there may be areas within the stone that are fragile, making such losses inevitable.
The experienced jewelry designer and manufacturer, Fawaz Gruosi got the heart-shaped Gruosi black diamond, set as the centerpiece of a spectacular white gold pendant, surrounded by 378 small white diamonds, the combination bringing out the black and white color contrast so characteristic of Fawaz Gruosi's collection of black diamond jewelry, and still mainting the overall heart-shape of the black diamond.
The pendant is attached to the necklace via a smaller second heart-shaped setting at the notch. The white gold necklace is set alternately with circular-cut green tsavorite garnets and small circular-cut black diamonds.
Heart-shaped Gruosi diamond set as the centerpiece of a pendant to a black diamond, tsavorite garnet necklace
1. Black diamonds are porous, and appear to be composed of millions of minute diamond crystals, stuck together. In otherwords, black diamonds are polycrystalline.
2. The porous material contains trapped gas bubbles, that appear to result from gases present when the diamonds were formed. Such gases include hydrogen and nitrogen, an evidence for the stellar origin of these diamonds.
3. Black diamonds are extremely hard and difficult to cut and polish. The hardness of black diamonds exceeds that of conventional diamonds.
4. The extreme hardness of black diamonds is due to lack of crystal planes along which cleavage can occur.
5. Black diamonds are more suitable for industrial uses such as grinding and drilling and less suitable for ornamental purposes.
6. Black diamonds are always found in alluvial deposits and never found in kimberlite or lamproite pipes, a possible indication that they did not originate deep inside the earth's crust as conventional diamonds.
7) Black diamonds are found mainly in alluvial deposits in two countries of the world, Brazil and the Central African Republic.
8) Black diamonds are much older than conventional diamonds, with an age of over 3.8 billion years.
9) Black diamonds exhibit strong luminescence induced by nitrogen, and vacanies in the crystal lattice.
10) Mantle mineral inclusions such as pyrope and forsterite are not found in black diamonds
Black Carbonado diamond - From the Brookhaven National Laboratory website
Photocredit - Steve Haggerty
The only important source of black diamonds in the world today are Brazil and the Central African Republic. No black diamonds have been found in the conventional diamond mines of South Africa, Russia, Australia and Canada. The fact that black diamonds do not occur in the usual places where conventional diamonds are found, coupled with the fact that black diamonds do not have characteristics conforming to conventional diamonds and are found only in alluvial deposits, have given rise to the speculation that black diamonds were either formed on the surface of the earth due to extreme conditions of temperature and pressure created, such as during the impact of huge meteorites, or have an extra-terrestrial origin, having originated outside the earth and landed subsequently as diamond meteorites or asteroids.
The theory that large meteor impacts in the Precambrian era (570 million years to 4.5 billion years ago) were responsible for the formation of black carbonados on the surface of the earth was put forward in 1985, by Joseph Smith of the University of Chicago and Barry Dawson of the University of Sheffield in England. In fact carbonados have been found to be more than 3.8 billion years old, a period when the earth was battered by a constant barrage of giant meteors. However, the fact that carbanodos are restricted in distribution, and are found only in two regions of the world, in South America and Central Africa, goes against the Meteor-Impact theory, according to which carbonados should be more evenly distributed across the world.
Research conducted in the 1990s had shown that the Brazilian and African carbonados have a common origin as they contain similar isotopes of carbon and nitrogen. To explain their common origin, a team of Geologists from the Florida International University led by Stephen Haggerty, has proposed, that carbonados originated in dying stars known as stellar supernova explosions, that produced shock waves crushing carbon into dense aggregations of black diamonds, which formed large diamond asteroids, hurtling through space, and the Sun's gravity attracted some of this material into our Solar system. A diamond asteroid about half a mile in diameter hit the earth billions of years ago, when South America and Africa were connected land masses. The deposits of black diamonds in Brazil and Central Africa, are today thousands of miles apart, because of the continental drift that occurred after the diamond asteriod hit the earth.
Fawaz Gruosi - Founder and President of Swiss-based De Grisogono
Fawaz Gruosi, the "King of Black Diamonds", is of Lebanese origin. His father was a Lebanese national and his mother an Italian. Fawaz left Lebanon in 1961, and took his mother's surname Gruosi. He dropped out of school when he was just 18, an adolescent not knowing exactly how to charter the future course of his life, when his mother suggested that he go out and make some pocket money. Following his mother's advice, Fawaz took up a job in a jewelry shop, in Florence, and it was here the foundations for a great career in jewelry designing and manufacture was laid.
Fawaz worked for about 20 years for some of the world's finest jewelry houses, turning out exquisitely designed masterpieces of jewelry. During this period he gathered enough experience in the art of jewelry designing and manufacture that elevated him to the position of a world class designer and manufacturer. But, in this capacity there was only limited scope for him to apply his novel and innovative ideas as a highly imaginative jewelry designer. Besides this, Fawaz had always nurtured a dream of becoming an independent designer and setting up his own business to create jewelry under his own name.
In pursuance of this dream, Fawaz established the first company in partnership in 1993, but subsequently, in 1995, he became the sole owner of the company. Having become an independent entrepreneur, Fawaz had the total freedom to make his own decisions, and take bold and novel initiatives, which his traditional counterparts would not even dare to. "The principal of creativity to do something different is my credo." says Fawaz, in an interview given to Monita Ragpal of the CNN in February 2006.
In 1996, Fawaz launched the de Grisogono brand name, by opening the first de Grisogono boutique on rue du Rhone, Geneva. This was the same year that Fawaz got the inspiration to try something different and venture into a hitherto unexplored field, the world of black diamonds. It all started when he was browsing through a book and accidentally came across a photograph of the famous 67.50-carat Black Orlov diamond. The photograph probably would have been, the Cartier's setting of the cushion-cut Black Orlov, surrounded by contrasting white diamonds in a pendant, to a diamond and platinum necklace. Fawaz immediately swung into action. He took a trip round the world, scouting for black diamonds in all the diamond mining areas of the world, and was able to collect sufficient quantities of these previously under-rated stones, in different sizes, to embark on his daring experiment. In spite of the difficulties experienced in the cutting and polishing of these rough stones, they were eventually transformed into jet black beauties, by a team of black diamond cutters, based in Antwerp.
Fawaz, then went about the task of setting these diamonds into exquisite jewelry, with unique and creative designs characteristic of the magical touch of Fawaz. He built up a breathtaking jewelry collection, consisting of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings, based on the black diamonds. To bring out the contrast in colors, he always associated the black diamonds, with other gemstones, such as, white diamonds, gray icy-diamonds, pearls, rubies, emeralds, sapphires etc.
Fawaz then launched his unique collection of black diamond jewelry in Geneva, under the de Grisogono brand name. The novel jewelry were snapped up by eager and discerning customers, and the de Grisogono black diamond jewelry, almost became an instant success. The popularity of black diamond jewelry soared beyond all expectations, and Fawaz Gruosi is credited with launching the love affair between the black diamond and women around the world. According to Fawaz, the black diamonds have long been under-rated as a gemstone, but are now receiving the attention they have long deserved. Fawaz then used black diamonds to adorn everyday objects like sun glasses and mobile phones, which enjoyed great demand from the customers.
With the success of the de Grisogono black diamond jewelry, new boutiques were opened in London and Gstaad. Then more outlets followed in quick succession, in Rome, Paris, St. Mortiz, Kuwait, Moscow and Hong Kong. These nine shops were opened within a period of twelve years. Truly the growth of the de Grisogono chain of outlets had been phenomenal, thanks to the growing popularity of the black diamond jewelry. "We are still in the process of growing and we need to keep growing for at least another 7 to 10 years. And to grow you need milk and in this case the milk is cash." says Fawaz, in the interview with CNN's Monita Rajpal. He further said, "I wouldn't like people could find my products, everywhere. If we go to our shops in Geneva and New York, you will not find the same pieces. I keep it very exclusive in that way." The company has now grown into a global empire, with a network of 140 points of sale around the world, which includes besides de Grisogono Boutiques, other authorized distributors as well.
Fawaz Gruosi is married to Caroline Gruosi Scheufele, heir to the rival jewelry business, Chopard. Fawaz met Caroline when he was just 21. At that time they were working for different companies. They got married, yet their business interests were kept independent of one another. A beautiful mutual relationship emerged between husband and wife, exchanging constructive criticism, advice and support for each others ventures. Chopard grew into a mighty watch-making and jewelry firm long before Fawaz started his own de Grisogono watch-making and jewelry company. Fawaz Gruosi's de Grisogono company went into partnership with his spouse-owned business Chopard, in 2002, in order to provide a sound financial base for the growth of de Grisogono. Fawaz Gruosi owns 49 % of the shares of de Grisogono's capital, and Chopard owns 49 %, while the remaining 2 % serve as a guarantee. In this partnership Chopard makes it's experience and know-how available to Grisogono, but in all other respects de Grisono remains independent of Chopard. Creation of watches and jewelry, distribution and marketing for the brand still remains the responsibility of de Grisogono.
Having achieved phenomenal success in the jewelry manufacturing arena, within a short period, Fawaz turned his attention towards watch-making, and in the late 1990s unveiled to the world, a men's watch set entirely with square-cut black diamonds, which became another instant success. He then created jewelry watches for Chopard, one of which was the highly innovative "Ice Cube Collection," in which each watch was set with 76 perfect black diamonds. Encouraged by this success, Fawaz decided to launch into watch production in the year 2000, under the de Grisogono brand name. The company made a sensational debut into the watch-making world in the year 2000, with an unquestionably original model known as the Instrumento No Uno, which was unveiled to the world at the international watch, clock and jewelry fair in Basel. For this time piece collection Fawaz used black diamonds mixed with white diamonds or colored stones. The features of these unique watches were, square shaped case with slightly arced sides, a second time zone indicator, a large date aperture at 7.30, a grooved crown with an inset black diamond, automatic modified caliber, two tier dial, 42-hour power reserve, water resistant to 30 meters. The Instrumento No Uno was a resounding success.
Year 2000 Model Men's De Grisogono Instrumento Uno Dual Time Diamond Automatic Date Watch, set with black and white round brilliant-cut diamonds
Following the success of the Instrumento No Uno in the year 2000, more innovative models followed each year :
Year 2001 - Instrumentino for ladies.
Year 2002 - Instrumento Doppio.
Year 2003 - Instrumento Doppio Tre and Instrumento Tondo.
Year 2004- Instrumento Steel and Diamonds, Instrumento Chrono, and Lipstick.
Year 2005 - Instrumento Grande, Occhio Ripetizione Minuti, Power Breaker.
Year 2006 - Grand Open Date, Uno Grande Seconde, FG One, Be Eight.
Year 2007 - Instrumento Novantatre
According to Fawaz Gruosi his greatest surprise was the success of de Grisogono watches, which he had never thought would take off the way they did. The Instrumento De Uno which was launched seven years ago is still their best seller, and the sale of watches have now reached 50 % of the turnover of the company. Fawaz Gruosi attributes his success to the fact that he has his "feet on the floor", is always original, never neglects quality, and keeps prices down.
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1) Fancy Colored Black Diamonds - Diamond Source of Virginia, Inc. www.diamondourceva.com
2) Diamond properties, geology, exploration, mining - Part III. www.minelinks.com/alluvial/diamonds
3) Fawaz Gruosi - www.worldtempus.com
4) De Grisogono - www.degrisogono.com
5) Carbonado - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
6) Mystery Diamonds - Geoscientists Investigate Rare Carbon Formation - Science Daily, June 1, 2007. www.sciencedaily.com
7) Diamonds from Outer Space : Geologists Discover Origin of Earth's Mysterious Black Diamonds - January 10, 2007. Brookehaven National Laboratory News. www.bnl.gov
8) The Gruosi Diamond - www.famousdiamonds.tripod.com
9) Diamonds in the Sky - Peter Tyson, Nova Beta. www.pbs.org
Dr Shihaan Larif
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