Although smaller in size, the 549-carat Sethunya, which means “flower” in the Setswana language and nods to Louis Vuitton’s emblematic Monogram flower, is “a remarkable, exceptionally pure, high-color, white gem diamond,” according to Ayesha Hira, vice president of corporate development and strategy at Lucara Diamond, the company that mined both stones for Vuitton in Botswana.
According to Vuitton, the Sethunya was identified on Feb. 1 by a “conscientious, normally quiet” diamond sorter, “who screamed with joy” when she discovered it in an area dedicated to rescuing large, carbon-rich specimens. It is estimated to be between 1 billion and 2 billion years old.
As with the Sewelô, Vuitton has joined with Lucara Diamond and HB Antwerp to design and polish Sethunya for Louis Vuitton clients.
Lucara Diamond specializes in large diamonds sourced from its own mine in Botswana and is the owner of Clara Diamond Solutions, a sales platform that aims to modernize the existing diamond supply chain. HB Antwerp is a diamond supply chain and manufacturing company focused on using technology to bring simplicity and transparency to a typically complex supply chain.
Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, said many of its high-jewelry clients have shown a keen interest in unique diamonds and he cited increased demand for bespoke and one-of-a-kind creations.
“The Sethunya is an exceptional rough diamond, and we are extremely proud to have the opportunity to offer it to them. And so, renewing our collaboration with Lucara and HB Antwerp — the best in their fields — was a natural step that reflects our values of innovation, surprise, and the disruption of the status quo,” Burke said.
Rafael Papismedov, cofounder of HB Antwerp, called the Sethunya one of the most amazing rough diamonds he has ever encountered.
“What’s so exciting about the stone is that it’s completely opposite to the Sowetô, which is a stone that’s more of an enigma than anything else, while the Sethunya is the ultimate diamond — the whitest and clearest diamond. It’s like an iceberg. You look through it, you see everything,” he said.
Vuitton said the client will be involved in the creative process of plotting, cutting and polishing, becoming part of the story that the stone will carry with it into history.
The diamond will be traced through HB Antwerp’s closed-circle technologies, with full transparency, from its exact origins in Lucara’s Karowe mine, as it passes from expert cutters in Antwerp to Louis Vuitton’s artisan-jewelers in their Paris workshops.
Margaux Donckier, HB Antwerp’s head of communication, added that “today’s consumers are increasingly aware of the origin of products, under what conditions products were manufactured, and how often they were flown around the world before arriving at their destination.”
“With the closed-circle system of HB Antwerp, consumers will get a very clear and transparent answer to all these questions, while keeping the carbon footprint to an absolute minimum,” she said.