21 Ultimate Gifts: A Diamond in the Rough

<< Back to Robb Report, December 2005

A sparkling diamond ring represents the end of a process that began billions of years ago deep within the earth’s surface. It involved geologists who discovered the rock in a remote region, miners who excavated it, diamond cutters in Antwerp or New York who refined its beauty, and finally a jeweler who created the setting that enhances the stone’s brilliance.

Tiffany & Co. is presenting one Robb Report reader with the opportunity to accompany a diamond on its journey from rock to radiant jewel. The jeweler is offering what it deems one of the world’s finest 25-carat rough diamonds, along with a visit to a diamond mine, a consultation with Tiffany’s expert diamond cutters to select the best cut for one large diamond or maybe two or three stones, and a meeting with the company’s designers to create from the fruits of the rough stone a single jewel or a suite of jewelry.

“A rough diamond of this size and quality is rare, and it was immediately apparent we had a superlative stone in every way,” says Melvyn Kirtley, Tiffany’s chief gemologist, who is responsible for gem acquisitions. “Naturally, we wanted to do something very special with it.” The rough stone was discovered in the Letseng mine in the African country of Lesotho, a source for some of the highest-quality, largest rough specimens.

Those who have seen a rough diamond know that it has little aesthetic appeal. In ancient times, however, men wore rough diamonds as talismans to protect them against evil spirits and illness and to imbue them with strength. Thus, even thousands of years ago, man was drawn to the rock, though he was unaware of the spectacular beauty concealed within.

You will travel to an open pit mine in Lesotho and witness how diamonds are extracted and processed. Then you will visit Tiffany’s diamond-cutting facility in Antwerp, where you will consult with experts on the different ways to cut your rough stone: perhaps a 7-carat round and a 2-carat oval or a 9-carat oval with a 0.9-carat round and a 1.5-carat oval.

Tiffany & Co. will lead you on a behind-the-scenes tour of its Fifth Avenue jewelry store. The tour will include a private breakfast at Tiffany and a visit to the workshop above the store to watch craftspeople design and set jewelry.

Melvyn Kirtley will meet with you to discuss design options for your diamonds. Shortly thereafter, he will present you with sketches to review before you make your final selection. It will take from six to nine months to complete the jewelry, depending on the complexity of the design.

PRICE
$1 million

The price might increase, depending on the final design of the diamond.

CONTACT
Tiffany & Co., 800.283.0536

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