HEART OF SPARKLE: British jeweler Graff Diamonds has unveiled “Graff Venus,” the largest heart-shaped diamond in the world.
The diamond, which is graded as a color D, and weighs 118.78 carats, or 23.5 grams, was discovered last year at the Letšeng mine in Lesotho, Africa.
The process of analyzing, cutting and polishing it took more than 18 months. It was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond and polished to ensure that it had no fluorescence, meaning it gives off no colored glow.
The company said it had never cut and polished a diamond of such size, so it had to develop new tools and processes as a result.
“The Graff Venus is testament to the skill and expertise of our team. We were given a once in a lifetime opportunity with this stone,” said Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds.
The team started by mapping out the shape of the rough diamond digitally in order to examine its shape and negotiate the ways it needed to be cut. Master cutters then shaped the diamond, focusing on achieving a perfectly symmetrical heart shape, a process Graff described as “risky and tense.”
The company has cut and polished more than half of the world’s top 20 largest diamonds in the last century.
Graff said it has yet to decide how the diamond will be used, but a spokesman confirmed it has been created to be worn, not to be displayed in a museum.
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