Mouna Diamond

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Origin of name

The Mouna diamond gets its name from its former owner Mouna Ayoub, the Lebanese former wife of a well-to-do Saudi Arabian businessman Nasser Al-Raschid, who was also an adviser to the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

Mouna Ayoub Diamond

Mouna Ayoub Diamond

Characteristics of the stone

According to the Gemological Institute of America certification, the Mouna diamond is a fancy intense yellow, cushion-cut, VS-1 clarity stone, having a weight of 112.53 carats. The G.I.A. also stated that the Mouna diamond was the largest fancy intense yellow diamond hitherto graded by the institute. Being a fancy intense yellow diamond the Mouna diamond is most probably a Type Ib diamond, which are extremely rare as they form only 0.1 % of all natural diamonds.

History

The diamond is believed to have been mined in the 1980s in South Africa, but other details such as the mine of origin, the original owners of the diamond, the persons involved in the cutting of the diamond, the person or company from whom the Saudi businessman purchased the diamond, and the date of such purchase etc. are all unknown.

Mouna Ayoub was a Lebanese Christian born on February 27th, 1957. She converted to Islam when she was 20 years old, in order to marry Nasser al-Raschid, a 40-year old businessman and adviser to King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. Her husband gave her all the care and attention she needed and it is said that on one occasion she told him that she enjoyed jogging, and the very next day, a team of workmen began building her a running track around the perimeter of their estate in Saudi Arabia.

Unfortunately, the marriage that apparently was quite a happy one and lasted 17 years (1979-1996), producing five children, ended up in divorce. The Mouna diamond was part of her divorce settlement, along with other valuable items of jewelry.

Mouna left Saudi Arabia to France, after the divorce and eventually acquired French citizenship. She became a successful business woman in her own right, after making a fortune in the real estate business. In the year 2004, Mouna was reported to be the 45th richest Arab, with a wealth estimated at $ 380 million.

She is a well known French socialite, and makes headlines in French people's magazines. She is a regular invitee for the annual Cannes film festival awards.

Mouna Ayoub had developed a passion for high quality fashion clothing, since her days as house wife and mother of five children in Saudi Arabia. She thinks that her passion for clothes came from her mother and the feeling that it brings closer to her. Mouna is reported to have 1,010 fashionable dresses hanging in her closets. Her favorite fashion designers are Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Louis Scherrer, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier,

According to a BBC News Report, published on BBC online network on Tuesday November 17, 1998, the huge Mouna diamond, set in a Bulgari pendant was bought for a record $ 3.2 million by an anonymous Middle East collector, at a Christie's auction in Geneva. The previous record for a fancy intense yellow diamond was $ 3 million, set by a 102.7-carat stone in May 1996, also at a Christie's auction in Geneva. The sale of the Mouna diamond together with 160 other items of gems, and jewelry, which included many pieces of modern silver, was organized by Christie's on behalf of Mouna al-Ayoub, in order to raise funds for the refit of her yacht, Phocea. The sale netted $ 8.000.000.

Present owners of the diamond

The Mouna diamond is presently owned by an anonymous connoisseur and collector in the Middle East, after it's purchase in 1998 at a Christie's auction in Geneva.

Chemistry of Yellow diamonds

Yellow color in diamonds is caused by the presence of minute quantities of nitrogen (less than 0.1 %) in the crystal structure of the stones, and this has been used as the criterion for classifying diamonds into two main classes. Type I and Type II.

Type I - Contain detectable quantities of Nitrogen. 98% of all natural diamonds are type I.

Type II - Nitrogen free or contain undetectable quantities of Nitrogen. Constitute 1-2 % of all naturally occurring diamonds.

Type I diamonds are sub-divided into two -Type Ia and Type Ib. The basis for this division is whether the nitrogen atoms are distributed as single atoms or groups of atoms.

Type Ia - Nitrogen atoms are found as groups of two or more atoms. 98% of all natural diamonds are type Ia.

Type Ib - Nitrogen atoms are scattered as single atoms. Only 0.1 % of all diamonds are type Ib.

Type Ia diamonds are further sub-divided into three - Type IaA, Type IaB, Type IaAB.

Type IaA - Nitrogen atoms occur as groups of 2-atoms known as A-aggregates. These groups do not absorb visible light, and therefore do not affect the color of the diamond. A-aggregates quench fluorescence. Therefore these diamonds are colorless and non-fluorescent.

Type IaB - Nitrogen atoms occur as groups of 4-atoms, known as B-aggregates. These groups also do not absorb visible light and do not affect the color of the diamonds. But, they cannot quench fluorescence, and therefore these diamonds are colorless and strongly fluorescent.

Type IaAB - Nitrogen atoms occur as A-aggregates, B-aggregates, and groups of 3-atoms known as N3 centers. The N3 centers absorb visible light in the blue end of the spectrum, imparting a pale to medium yellow color to the diamonds. The diamond also show varying degrees of fluorescence. Most of the Type Ia diamonds belong to this group.

Type Ib - Nitrogen atoms are scattered as single atoms, and they absorb visible light in the blue end of the spectrum, imparting an intense yellow color to the diamonds. The canary yellow and fancy intense yellow belong to this group, but are very rare as they constitute only 0.1 % of all naturally occurring diamonds.

Thus the Mouna diamond being a fancy intense yellow diamond is a Type Ib diamond.

List of famous yellow diamonds greater than 100 carats in weight

S/N

Name Carat Weight Shape/Cut

Color

1 Incomparable 407.48 shield shaped fancy brownish yellow
2 Oppenheimer-uncut 253.70 natural octahedral yellow
3 De Beers 234.65 cushion light yellow
4 Red Cross 205.07 cushion canary yellow
5 unnamed 200.87 pear yellow
6 Moon 183.00 round pale yellow
7 unnamed 180.85 briolette yellow
8 Star of Peace 170.49 pear brownish yellow
9 Hope of Africa 151.91 cushion fancy yellow
10 Unnamed 150.00 emerald yellow
11 Florentine 137.27 double rose cut light yellow
12 Algeiba Star 135.03 square brilliant yellow
13 Sarah 132.43 cushion fancy vivid yellow
14 Golden Hue 132.42 cushion yellow
15 Tiffany Yellow 128.54 cushion canary yellow
16 Stewart 123.00 brilliant yellow
17 Meister 118.00 cushion yellow
18 Vainer Briolette 116.60 briolette fancy light yellow
19 Unnamed 114.64 briolette yellow
20 Unnamed 114.03 cushion yellow
21 Mouna 112.50 cushion fancy intense yellow
22 African Yellow 112.00 - yellow
23 Anon 108.04 emerald yellow
24 Rojtman 107.46 cushion yellow
25 Golden Sun 105.54 emerald yellow
26 Golden Door 104.95 pear yellow
27 Alnatt 101.29 cushion fancy vivid yellow
28 Sunrise 100.52 emerald yellow

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