The Golden Canary Diamond: A History of Recutting and Reinvention
The Golden Canary Diamond // Cedric Ribeiro
The Golden Canary diamond is one of the most extraordinary diamonds in the world. Weighing in at an impressive 303.10 carats, it is one of the largest internally flawless diamonds ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. It is also one of the rarest, as fancy yellow diamonds make up just 0.006% of all diamonds mined.
The Golden Canary's Past
The Original Incomparable Diamond Necklace, with a total of 637 total carat weight, created by Mouawad // Mouawad
The Golden Canary boasts a long, storied history, having been first discovered in the early 1980s in Mbuji-Mayi, a town in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A young girl found the remarkable gem in a pile of rubble discarded from a nearby industrial diamond mine. Initially overlooked because of its unconventional appearance and immense size, the rough diamond was eventually recognized for its rare and exceptional quality. Weighing an astonishing 890 carats in its rough state, the stone was meticulously cut and polished over several years by a team of experts. The result was a 407.48-carat, shield-shaped, internally flawless gem named "The Incomparable Diamond," making it one of the largest high-quality diamonds ever discovered. Luxury brand Mouawad set The Incomparable Diamond in a Guinness record–winning necklace, valued in 2013 at $55 million. Nita Ambani, the chairperson and founder of the Reliance Foundation, purchased the necklace and gifted it to Akash Ambani's wife, Shloka Mehta.
By 2015, The Incomparable Diamond was recut into its current pear-shaped form. The recutting was done by the renowned diamond cutter, Gabriel Tolkowsky. Tolkowsky believed that the pear shape would bring out the best qualities of the diamond, such as its size, color, and clarity.
The Reasoning Behind Recutting the Incomparable Diamond:
The Incomparable Diamond at 407.48 carats // GIA
There were several reasons why the Incomparable Diamond was recut into the Golden Canary. First, the original shield shape was not very flattering to the diamond's color. The yellow color of the diamond was not as pronounced in the shield shape, and the diamond looked somewhat dull.
Second, the original shield shape was not very efficient in terms of weight retention. When a diamond is cut, some of the weight is lost in the cutting process. The more facets a diamond has, the more weight is lost. The shield shape has relatively few facets, so a lot of weight was lost when the Incomparable Diamond was cut in this shape.
Third, the original shield shape was not very wearable. The diamond was very large and heavy, and it would have been difficult to wear it in a necklace or ring. The pear shape is more wearable, and it is a more popular shape for diamonds.
The recutting of the Incomparable Diamond into the Golden Canary was a controversial decision. Some people believe that the original shield shape was more elegant and that the recutting diminished the value of the diamond. Others believe that the pear shape is more modern and that it makes the diamond more wearable. Regardless of one's opinion on the recutting, there is no doubt that the Golden Canary diamond is a remarkable gem. It is a testament to the skill of the diamond cutters who have worked on it over the years, and it is a reminder of the beauty and rarity of natural diamonds.
The Sale of the Golden Canary Diamond
The Golden Canary Diamond at 303.10 carats // Cedric Ribeiro
The Golden Canary diamond was auctioned by Sotheby's in New York City on December 7, 2022. The auction was conducted by David Bennett, the chairman of Sotheby's jewelry department. He described the Golden Canary diamond as "one of the most magnificent diamonds ever to come to auction." He also said that it was "a truly rare and exceptional gem." The bidding started at $1 and quickly escalated, with several bidders vying for the gem. The auction lasted for 10 minutes until it was sold for $12.4 million to an anonymous buyer. The sale of the Golden Canary diamond was a disappointment to some people, as the diamond had been estimated to sell for at least $15 million. However, the sale price was still significant, and it made the Golden Canary diamond one of the most expensive yellow diamonds ever sold at auction. The Golden Canary diamond was sold with a guarantee, which means that Sotheby's will repurchase the diamond if it is not resold within a certain period of time.
Though the buyer of the Golden Canary diamond has not been revealed, it is believed that the buyer is a private collector who is based in Asia. The buyer is said to be very excited about the acquisition of the Golden Canary diamond, and they plan to display it in their private collection.
The Future of the Golden Canary Diamond
The future of the Golden Canary diamond is uncertain. It is possible that the buyer will keep the diamond in their private collection. However, it is also possible that the diamond will be sold again at auction in the future. Only time will tell what the future holds for this remarkable gem.
The Golden Canary diamond is a truly unique and special gem. It is a testament to the beauty and rarity of natural diamonds. The story of the Golden Canary diamond is one of recutting and reinvention. It is a story of how a diamond can be transformed into something even more beautiful and valuable.