Journalists attending the de Grisogono press conference in Paris last Friday morning were in for a double treat. Not only did the brand announce its acquisition of “The Constellation”, a rough diamond purchased for USD63 million earlier this year, it brought the exceptional 813 carats stone along with it to give us a first-hand mind-boggling look. The well-guarded event took place on September 9, 2016 at the Grand Palais, home to the 28th edition of the Biennale des Antiquaires, now open to the public until September 18.
Discovered by Canadian company Lucara Diamond at its “green concept” Karowe mine in Botswana in November 2015, the gem, measuring over a staggering six centimeters wide, was purchased in May 2016 following a competitive bidding process, with Dubai-based rough diamond trading company Nemesis International concluding the deal with de Grisogono. Boasting the colour, clarity and carat weighting of a historically significant stone, “The Constellation” is expected to reveal one of the world’s largest certified D colour flawless diamonds during the cutting process, “probably of 300 to 350 carats for the main stone, with a secondary stone of 100 carats, plus a few other pieces”, said Nemesis International Director Nickolas Polak.
The cutting process will not take place immediately, and while mid-2017 is expected to be a reasonable delay, it all depends upon Founder and Executive Board member of de Grisogono, Fawaz Gruosi, who, while “thrilled to have the chance to work with such an incredible and important diamond” is “still waiting for her to talk to me”. “I keep talking to that stone” he told us in his inimitable way, “trying to have some feedback from her, asking her what kind of dress she wants to wear, but so far I have no answer.”
“The Constellation”, the second major acquisition for the brand this year – a 404 carat rough diamond was also purchased in May — represents a ground-breaking moment for the company on its way to becoming one of the world’s leading high jewellery and watch brands. For John Leitao, Chief Executive Officer of de Grisogono, “despite a challenging market environment, people will continue to…value those objects which are truly unique and special, such as this extraordinary piece of history”.
While waiting for “The Constellation” to ‘speak’ to genial Founder Gruosi, the de Grisogono booth at the Biennale displays no fewer than 40 sumptuous unique pieces from the 2016 “Folies” High Jewellery Collection.
Here are some video moments of the conference, the unveiling of the diamond, and a peek at some of the exquisite pieces on display.