Hamilton Series: Tracking Down the World’s Most Infamous Diamonds – The Spirit of de Grisogono

*Originally published February 2012
Everyone loves a good mystery. Throw in glamorous players, far-away locales, and of course, exquisite and stunning gems, and you have a story that will garner rapt attention.
But, these aren’t just stories, they are open investigations, dedicated recovery missions and extensive inquiries for the most famous and well-known diamonds that the world has ever produced.
While we are lucky that some of these stones are on display for our enjoyment, or even for sale, some have simply vanished and their whereabouts unknown.  All we can do is wait for them to pop up at auction some time.
Famous diamonds always do.
Weighing 312.24 carats, and 587 carats before it was cut, the Spirit of de Grisogno is the largest cut black diamond in the world.
There are not many black stones in the world of famous diamonds, mainly the Black Orlov and the Amsterdam Diamond, which weigh 67 and 33 carats, respectively.  Even a 205-carat black diamond called the 'Black Star of Africa' is rumored to exist, being sold to a buyer in Asia during the 1980's, but this has never been substantiated.
Discovered in Central Western Africa several decades ago, the diamond was then taken to Switzerland to the famous Swiss diamond cutter De Grisogono, renowned for his eye-catching black diamond creations and responsible for cutting the largest heart-shaped black diamond in the world, to cut and set.  Considered the fifth largest diamond overall, the diamond was cut in the Mogul technique.  This historic cutting method was developed centuries ago in India and can be seen in a number of historic diamonds, such as the Orlov Diamond in the Russian Diamond Treasury in Moscow, and several diamonds in the Crown Jewels of Iran, among them the Taj-I-Mah Diamond.  The Great Mogul, a 279-carat diamond, is another famous Mogul cut diamond, but sadly, its whereabouts are unknown. In setting the Spirit of de Grisogno diamond in white gold with 702 smaller white diamonds totalying 36.69 carats, the entire process from studying the cut design to executing it on the de Grisogono rough, involved more than a year's work.
The Spirit of de Grisogono is described in the report of the Gubelin Gem Lab, Switzerland’s premiere gemological laboratory, as a rare specimen for this type of diamond in view of its great size. It is the largest natural black diamond which the GGL laboratory has ever tested.
While a few lucky people have been able to try on the fantastic diamond, upon completion, the stone is reported to have since been sold to a private client.  Its current whereabouts are unknown.  Diamond lovers world wide wait patiently for the largest and rarest black diamond known to history to surface once again.

[caption id="attachment_4128" align="aligncenter" width="255" caption="The Spirit of de Grisogono black diamond set in a white gold ring encrusted with 702 white diamonds."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4129" align="aligncenter" width="255" caption="French tennis player Henri Leconte and his wife wearing the Spirit of de Grisogono black diamond ring."][/caption]

Information and images courtesy of Famous Diamonds.