In a unique collaboration, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton is all set to transform a rare and exceptional diamond specimen - the 1758 carat diamond, Sewelo Diamond.
The monumental 1758 carat rough diamond, has been named Sewelo, meaning 'Rare Find', in the Setswana language. It was recovered at the Lucara Diamond Corp.'s 100 percent owned Karowe mine, Botswana. It is the second largest rough diamond ever discovered and the largest to come out of Botswana. Together with Lucara Diamond Corporation and the HB Company of Antwerp, the second largest rough diamond ever discovered is set to be transformed as per an announcement made on Tuesday, 21st January 2020 in Paris.
Roughly the size of a tennis ball, measuring 83mm x 62mm x 46mm, weighing 352 grams, the Sewelo is the second largest rough gem diamond in recorded history, eclipsed only by the Cullinan, at 3106 carats, discovered in South Africa in 1905, and fashioned into historic diamonds that are now in the British Crown Jewels and royal collection. It is also the largest, exceptional rough diamond to be recovered from Lucara's state-of-the-art Karowe mine in Botswana. Remarkably, the diamond remained unbroken thanks to Lucara's high-tech XRT circuit, a highly advanced recovery process that avoids crushing the diamond-bearing rock, a drawback of previous processes.
Initial analysis of the Sewelo characterises the stone as 'near gem quality' with 'domains of high-quality white gem', while detailed studies of the stone, its composition, qualities and potential will continue for several months. It is spectacular not only for its immense size but also for its intriguing characteristics of shape, colour, formation and composition. The rough crystal is largely covered in a very thin layer of black carbon, enveloping the 2 billion-year-old history within; the full extent of variations in colour and clarity of the diamond yield is still unknown.
Louis Vuitton is working closely with master diamond cutters, HB Company, from Antwerp, using the very latest scanning and imaging technology to assess the final potential of the stone, and plan the optimum yield of individual finished, cut and polished diamonds. The first step is to open a window onto the stone, in order to gain visibility into the heart of the Sewelo, and plot various permutations of size, colour and shape. Diamond-cutting is an age-old, near-mystical blend of art and science, expertise and intuition.
Advanced, cutting-edge technology will play a crucial role in the entire process from initial scanning and planning to the cutting and polishing which is estimated to take a year to complete. The unique properties of the Sewelo, its size and black surface coating, mean that new nano-technologies have to be used in place of standard equipment.
In a spirit of creative collaboration with HB Company, Louis Vuitton will be involved at every stage, ensuring that the maximum light, life and fire, character and charisma will be unleashed from the magnificent rough crystal. The size of the diamond will enable production of Made-to-Order Louis Vuitton Cut diamonds, each complex, each skillfully fashioned in the form of one of Louis Vuitton's emblematic Monogram, the rounded flower and star-shaped motif.