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Blue-diamond cutter has the blues
By Christopher Hourmouzios
LONDON, April 28, 2009 - The man whose company manufactured the 7.03ct blue diamond being
cut-flawless-blue-diamond-weighing-7.03-carats
auctioned by Sotheby’s, Geneva on May 12, is suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Gary Monnickendam designed the stone’s cut, oversaw its six-week production in South Africa and thought of it as his child.

“Now I’m suffering post-natal depression.”

He told Jewellery Outlook how his firm came to process it. “We’ve cut a lot of blue diamonds and have a reputation for doing a good job, so Petra Diamonds, the stone’s owner, came to us.

"When you are cutting fancy colours it is not the same as cutting white stones. You have to go the extra distance to obtain the maximum yield from the rough material. In this case we invented the cut as we went along. It is unique to this stone.”

What cut is it?

johan-dippenaar-with-uncut-rough-blue-diamond-weighing-26.58-carats
Johan Dippenaar, CEO of Petra Diamonds, with uncut rough blue diamond weighing 26.58 carats
“A cushion with 58 facets but we modified the bottom to get extra colour refraction coming through the top of the diamond. We changed the angles from a traditional cushion cut to bounce the light around the stone. There are very few people who know this technique.”

Why did he only get 7.03ct from a 26.58ct piece of rough?

“It was a badly flawed stone. We lasered off 14ct to get this 7.03ct stone. The other side of the rough was completely crushed but we extracted four more small pieces which we will sell. The impurities indicated that if we went for a smaller stone it would be flawless. And it makes it a lot rarer to have this intensity of colour with a flawless interior.”

Did he enjoy the whole process?

“Yes, because we live to make stones like this and I even dream about coloured diamonds. It was great fun and nerve-racking. But to get the excitement you need a bit of fear!”



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