Hong Kong luxury jeweler Chow Tai Fook unveiled last week an incredible necklace designed from the twinkling progeny of the 507.55-carat Cullinan Heritage rough diamond.
The massive diamond, which was purchased by the jeweler in 2010 for $35.3 million, yielded 24 D-flawless gems, including the necklace's focal point, a perfect 104-carat round brilliant. The museum-quality piece is appropriately dubbed "A Heritage in Bloom."
Chow Tai Fook enlisted the legendary talents of jewelry artist Wallace Chan to assemble the family of "Heritage" diamonds — and a supporting cast of 11,500 addition precious gemstones — into an unforgettable work of art that is estimated to be worth at least $200 million. The diamond total weight of the piece is a staggering 383.4 carats.
Chan's vision was finally realized after 47,000 man hours spanning 11 months. Chan led a team of 22 artisans though an extraordinary design challenge that utilized every one of the Heritage diamonds in a necklace that can be worn 27 different ways. Surprising variations are achieved by removing certain sections and replacing them elsewhere, or removing them completely.
In one configuration, an 11.94-carat round diamond and a 20.02-carat marquise-shaped diamond — both culled from the Heritage — reside above and below the 104-carat stone.
“Today we complete a journey we began five years ago, and we could not be more proud of the exceptional and historic creation that has emerged. Continuing the Cullinan legend, the world-renowned master jewelry artist Wallace Chan has brought the Cullinan diamonds to life,” said Dr. Henry Cheng, chairman of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited.
In addition to the white diamonds, Chan utilized 72 pieces of mutton fat white jade, 114 pieces of icy green jadeite and nearly 600 pink diamonds. Around the 104-carat diamond is a circle of white jade to symbolize the confluence of east and west cultures. Diamonds have long been coveted in the west while jade has been revered in the east.
Chan's design also included two diamond-studded bats (for good fortune) and two colorful diamond butterflies (for eternal love).
Chow Tai Fook has no immediate plans to sell the necklace. A company representative explained that the piece symbolizes the heritage of the Chow Tai Fook family and the Chinese people as a whole.
“The key thing is it’s authentic and original, something crafted by an artisan from China,” Adrian Cheng, the chairman's son, told Barrons.com. “All the elements, all the creativity, all these ingredients in this piece are part of Chinese history.”
The Cullinan Heritage diamond was discovered at the Cullinan Diamond Mine in Gauteng Province, South Africa. The rough diamond boasted a Type IIa clarity, the purest of all diamonds because they are composed solely of carbon with virtually no trace elements in the crystal lattice.
Images via chowtaifook.com.