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By Faith Summers | May 31, 2018
What happens when you put a resourceful client, a perfect diamond crystal and Crafted by Infinity together? A win-win-win scenario, with Mother Nature's purest object fashioned to performance perfection. Flawless craftsmanship. A symphony of scintillation. More fire. More sparkle. More life!
This quarter-million dollar 3.58 carat D Flawless Type IIa high-performance masterpiece comes with a fun story, an exciting process and a breathtaking outcome.
The story began in December with a call to High Performance Diamonds regarding a special project. The target diamond could be nothing less than absoulute perfection in every possible aspect of nature, gemology and craftsmanship. Desired weight of 3.20+ carats, with Flawless clarity and D color derived only from a Type IIa natural diamond crystal. All of this, to be paired with the cutting perfection Crafted by Infinity is famous for.
We've delivered many special Crafted to Order diamonds, but this was an extraordinary request. We wanted to be sure the caller understood the nature of what we do (this would need to be a search for starting material with custom-cutting by Crafted by Infinity).
Sure enough, the clever caller had done his homework. His goal was absolute perfection in both nature and craftsmanship. Period.
Wow again. Game on!
We contacted Antwerp and were immediately faced with some obstacles.
First, we learned that starting material becomes exponentially more scarce as size, color and clarity ascend. This makes sense. There are no new natural diamonds (the youngest are about 800 million years old) and historic sources are reaching their limits. That makes the high value "specials" which Mother Nature gives us in very short supply. And when they do come available the biggest producers tend to seize that material in order to produce fat collection quality diamonds primarily cut for size. Therefore, finding candidate crystals involves bidding against others in the industry who would yield more weight from the material, at the expense of beauty, potentially escalating the cost basis beyond practicality.
Second, we were told that the clarity grade of "Flawless" is something of a unicorn, and capriciously awarded. In fact we learned that it seems more a matter of fortune or timing than natural qualification. As such, even the brilliant team at Crafted by Infinity refused to guarantee the "Flawless" outcome. They would polish the diamond to Flawless, but due to the spurious nature of grading they would only assure us of IF or Internally Flawless.
Considering the complexities and obstacles, we decided to put our client directly in touch with John Pollard, the US Director of Crafted by Infinity diamonds, for further dialogue.
Our client and John had several exchanges. Meanwhile Crafted by Infinity began actively searching for candidate crystals, testing the waters to provide an idea of what may be possible. The first two finds were rejected outright, one by Crafted by Infinity due to the way the crystal had grown, and the complications it would make in aiming for FL or IF. The other was rejected by the client for being absurdly priced, due to the stubbornness of the mining house holding it (we agreed). And then, within two weeks of engaging the project, Crafted by Infinity located a beautiful starting crystal that could potentially yield 3.50-3.55 carats.
The only question was whether or not this natural beauty was indeed a Type IIa crystal...
Type IIa diamonds contain little to no nitrogen atoms in their crystal structure. Described by early traders as "diamonds of the finest water," they represent only 1-2% of all mined diamonds on earth. Widely considered among the purest and most valuable of natural diamonds, Type IIa specimens are so rare that they command a 5% to 15% premium, when they can be found.
When the specimen was confirmed as Type IIa we felt the project was charmed. We excitedly confirmed that the client wanted to go ahead and crafting began. Meanwhile, we also began worked on a setting for this magnificent diamond. It was destined to become one of the world's most impressive diamond studs and the choice was a Martini Style mounting in Platinum with Protektor style backs.
The diamond finished at 3.58 carats. Antwerp reported total success, it ran perfectly on the wheel. No one over there in the world capital of diamonds wanted to say goodbye, but the next step was to send it through for final grading.
Imagine our surprise when the grading laboratory contacted John Pollard of Crafted by Infinity to help them qualify the diamond as natural.
What? This was highly irregular, but it happened for an incredible reason: Laboratory-grown diamonds are pressed pure, with no nitrogen traces, and are also classified as Type IIa. The lab found that this 3.58 carat Crafted by Infinity diamond, gifted to us by nature, was so natrually pure and free of trace elements that it was difficult to classify as natural. In one sense this was an immense compliment. In another sense, the truth was critical to present.
Thanks to the combined efforts of the American Gem Society and Gemological Institute of America's testing, detection and grading, the diamond was indeed confirmed a 100% natural Type IIa of the purest possible color and clarity.
Delivered in April 2018, this was one of the most exciting projects we've been engaged in. This was more than skill. There were elements of fortune involved, starting with the sheer availability of raw material and continuing with the incredible fact that the material was in the rare 1-2% category classified as natural Type IIa. There were no wrinkles whatsoever in production, which is amazing because we know from our friends in Antwerp that diamonds all "fight" against man's will. Add the need for the labs to closely examine the diamond, since the crystal was so pure it had to be confirmed as Mother Nature's product, as well as the immense success of receiving "Flawless" clarity, that notoriously elusive and celebrated grade.
We have to say...
All Crafted by Infinity diamonds are considered equally important in the same way as parents love all of their children, both in Antwerp and here at High Performance Diamonds.
But we don't mind to brag on the accomplishments of this particular child: It is a fantastically brilliant star in the historic constellation of unique and collectible gemstones. And we take pride in knowing that no other star can shine brighter than this one.
Crafted by Infinity # 10025
3.58 D Flawless Type IIa