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Diamonds Large and Small

September 9, 2013

118-carat White Diamond

118-carat White Diamond (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

 
When it comes to diamonds, some people are all about clarity, some are all about shape, some are preoccupied with color, and others care about the cut. And more often than not, all of the above are obsessed with size.

And size-wise, there’s been big news in the diamond industry. Esteemed luxury auction house Sotheby’s is currently housing in its Manhattan headquarters a 118-carat white diamond—the largest, most significant diamond of its kind graded by the Gemological Institute of America.

Set to be auctioned in Hong Kong on Oct. 7, this massive oval stone has an estimated presale value of $28 million to $35 million. To put this number in perspective, the current record for any white diamond is $26.7 million, fetched by a pear-shaped stone of about 101 carats at Christie’s in Geneva last spring.

Good Things in Small Packages

It’s not just the monster diamonds getting all the press. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s master gem setter, Carlos Carvalheiro, unveiled what may be the world’s smallest faceted diamonds at the luxury watch brand’s 180th anniversary hosted at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy.

These two miniature diamonds are each 0.5mm in size and have 57 facets visible only under a microscope, a true feat in micro-technology for the jewelry and watch trade. In an industry culture that is traditionally very much governed by the mantra “Bigger is Better,” Jaeger-LeCoultre turned the status quo on its head with the proud exhibition of its impressively miniature gems.

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