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The Vainer Briolette

Feb 27th, 2013

The Vainer Briolette

Vainer BrioletteThe Vainer Briolette weighing 116.60 carat is a 192 facet diamond which the GIA graded as polish and symmetry excellent and color fancy light yellow.

The diamond also enjoys, therefore, the distinction of being the largest diamond to have been faceted in London to date since the Regent, and holds its position as the second largest briolette cut diamond in the world.

When considering which diamond cuttings centers are the most important, odds are London won’t spring to mind as one of them.

The city’s main role in the diamond trade has been as the major point of distribution of rough diamonds. The London Diamond Syndicate, formed in 1890 as a joint buying and selling organization for the output of the De Beers mines, was succeeded by the Central Selling Organization, now the Diamond Trading Company, so that all the De Beers sight-holders around the world are still obliged to make travel arrangements to London until such a time as the much publicized move to Gabarone is completed alter this year (a lot of reward miles will be earned).

At the same time, for almost two centuries, a small cutting industry has contrived to exist in the British Isles and the greatest diamond which it had produced was the Regent, or “Pitt” as it was then known. The largest rough gemstone handled has been the Woyie River, cut in the early-1950s by Briefel & Lemer, the same firm who had been entrusted with the Williamson Diamond.

With the Vainer Briolette, London was recognized as a diamond cutting center again.

In the autumn of 1984 associates of M. Vainer Limited informed them of the existence of a 202.85 carat diamond, yellowish, slightly spotted, but of almost perfect octahedral shape. Instead of cutting the customary brilliant from such a stone Milosh Vainer and his master cutter, Michael Gould, had other more unusual ideas: they decided to cut a briolette.

This is a fairly rare diamond cut.

One older example was owned by Henry Philip Hope, the banker whose collection of unique gems included the famous diamond named after him. The Briolette of India, weighing 90.38 carat was thought to have a history dating back to the Middle Ages; unfortunately recent research has revealed it was cut in Paris in 1908-09.

The Vainer Briolette was purchased by the Sultan of Brunei. In addition the rough stone yielded five smaller gems weighing a total of 14.93 carats, all of which were faceted in keeping with the historical cutting of the principal gem.

Sources:

Famous Diamonds by Ian Balfour

Diamond Cuts in Historic Jewelry – 1381 to 1910 by Herbert Tillander

Diamonds – Famous, Notable and Unique by GIA.

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