Rare diamond at expo
It is not one in a million - more like one in 100 million.
That is how rare the 50.55-carat diamond at this year's Singapore International Jewelry Expo is.
The white diamond from DeGem sparkles with clear brilliance and is nicknamed The White Fire for its colourlessness and purity.
Ms Au Yeong Siew Pheng, marketing manager of DeGem, explained why such a large diamond is rare: "It is not easy to get a rough, unformed diamond that is large enough to cut a 50-carat diamond."
Rough diamonds can lose about half their weight after cutting.
"You can work 10 years in the industry and not be able to hold such a big diamond of this quality," she said.
Diamonds of this size are usually set as pendants or on crowns. The one from DeGem is set as a ring and is retailing at US$10 million (S$12.5 million).
On the cutting process, Mr Yosi Fozailoff, an experienced diamond-cutter, told The New Paper: "My factory in Israel receives diamonds from a London syndicate, which controls around 70 per cent of the diamonds from around the world.
"They pass us a sack of diamonds every month and we don't know what is inside. We just trust them. Then we sort the diamonds and decide what shapes to cut them into."
The 66-year-old, who is president of Fozailoff Jewelry, learnt how to cut diamonds from his father when he was 15.
FLAWS DETERMINE SHAPE
The shape of the diamond depends on where flaws are located. These flaws, known as inclusions, can be cracks or tiny embedded minerals in the diamond.
"We also cut the stone according to the market as people have different tastes for shape and colour," said Mr Fozailoff.
"It is also important to cut the diamond to minimise wastage. Then we cut the facets and polish the diamond."
This process can take a day, for a one-carat diamond, or, for larger diamonds, years.
"You can do it quickly, but you won't want to. You want to ask for different opinions (on how to cut the diamond), " said Mr Fozailoff.
It is usually "serious diamond and gem collectors" who buy such large diamonds to add to their personal collection.
Said Ms Au Yeong: "They might keep it in a safe, for investment, or as a heirloom piece. Even if it is worn, it would be for special occasions."
But wouldn't it be a pity if such a beautiful diamond was not worn often?
"I don't think so. There is personal satisfaction in looking at the diamond and appreciating it," she said.
You can work 10 years in the industry and not be able to hold such a big diamond of this quality.
- Ms Au Yeong Siew Pheng, marketing manager of DeGem, on the 50.55-carat rare diamond on show at the Singapore International Jewelry Expo