The cushion-cut diamond, weighing 8.88 carats, to a simple claw setting, mounted in platinum, ring size 5½
Accompanied by a certificate and illustrated monograph from GIA, stating that the 8.88 carats diamond is D colour, IF clarity, with excellent polish and symmetry and of Type IIa. Report number 5121497228, dated 15th September 2010
The facts associated with this important diamond make for absorbing reading; a D colour, internally flawless diamond will always make a diamond connoisseur sit up and take note. The rarity of this diamond is commented on by GIA in the monograph which accompanies this lot; 'In recent years GIA has graded more than half a million diamonds over 1 ct on an annual basis. Those graded D color and either Flawless or Internally Flawless represent less than one-half of one percent (0.5%) of those diamonds. In diamonds over 1 ct, the rarity of high-clarity stones increases exponentially. To achieve a grade of Internally Flawless requires a combination of luck in nature and of manufacturing by a skilled artisan.'
The diamond has been extensively analysed by the GIA who have determined it to be a Type IIa stone, a rare type of diamond that has no nitrogen (the impurity that imparts a yellow colour into a diamond) present in the structure. A tiny percentage of the world's diamonds are of this type less than 2%. A diamond completely free of nitrogen, such as this one, tends to be colourless and whiter than the more usual colourless diamond. The Koh-I-Noor and Cullinan are both examples of Type IIa diamonds.
Additionally, that the diamond has been polished as a cushion brilliant-cut further excites interest, after all, this is the shape is associated with some of the most important diamonds in the world; The Hope, The Tiffany and The Agra.
Already this stone has ticked three of the four important boxes that collectors hold dear, colour, clarity and cut, but what of the forth important box - carat? This is where this particular diamond stands out even further from a small and elite crowd. The weight of 8.88 carats is not only impressive only for sheer size, but also the symbolism associated with the number 8 elevates it to a different level.
For centuries, the power of the number 8 has been acknowledged by cultures across the globe. The number 8 is associated with the symbol for infinity - ∞. Buddhists believe the number 8 to be lucky as a lotus flower, an important religious symbol, has eight petals. The lotus represents one of the Buddha's principal teaching, the Noble Eightfold Path. As the GIA note; 'In both the Mandarin and Cantonese dialects, the word for the number 8 is similar in pronunciation and spelling to the word for prosperity. In China, it is also considered a lucky number, so that it should come as no surprise that the 2008 Olympic summer games in Beijing began on August 8, 2008 (or 08/08/08) at 8:00 pm. The number 8 could also be considered lucky because it is a perfect symmetrical shape. You can cut the number 8 in half vertically or horizontally, and both halves mirror themselves perfectly. Perfect symmetry lends itself to perfect balance. In Chinese astrology, perfect balance is considered the ideal.'
To cut a diamond to exactly 8.88 carats will have taken supreme skill and that virtuosity is demonstrated further by the fact that GIA have determined the diamond has both excellent polish and symmetry.
On every level, the diamond offered here represents rarity and quality, and as GIA note 'With this combination of characteristics, the 8.88 ct Cushion Brilliant promises to convey its owner with far more than the auspicious sum of its parts'.
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