Rapaport Magazine

Designer Lines

By Amber Michelle
There is no other feeling that comes close to that of holding a diamond in the palm of one’s hand — especially when that diamond is 187.7 carats in the rough. That was the experience during a private viewing of the Diavik Foxfire diamond. This miracle of nature was found in the Diavik Diamond Mine located in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The mine is 60 percent owned by Rio Tinto. The diamond is about the size of a large watch face on a man’s timepiece. It has a flat, elongated shape that makes it very easy to hold.
   Staring deeply into the heart of the diamond stirs the imagination and reminds one of the deep pristine Lac de Gras situated about 130 miles south of the Arctic Circle that it came from. The stone has the icy look of having escaped the cold waters of the lake. This particular diamond had a pastel rainbow effect toward the top of the gem in the shape of an eye, which gave the stone an extraordinarily mesmerizing quality and sense of wisdom and knowing.
   “This is the biggest stone ever found on the North American continent. And when we look at what we have in the mine, the Diavik Foxfire is an anomaly,” said Alan Davies, CEO, diamonds and minerals, Rio Tinto. The rough was first noticed in the processing plant, where it caught the attention of a very experienced operator who stopped the machines and pulled the rock out before it got crushed. The diamond is VVS clarity or better, with a tinge of yellow color. Depending upon the shape, there is potential to cut a 100-carat stone, or possibly two 40-carat pear shapes or a number of other possibilities.
   Rio Tinto pays strict attention to causing the least amount of harm possible to the land, water and wildlife of the area. Davies notes that the mining operation is run in the cleanest way possible and powered by wind farms. The mine’s environmental management system is certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) global standard and is run in partnership with the local indigenous community.
   The Diavik Foxfire went on a world tour during May and was sold by closed tender at the end of that month. As for the future of the Diavik Foxfire…perhaps the stone will remain in its rough form, or perhaps we will see the polished gems that emerge from this precious rough. Whatever happens, the Diavik Foxfire will have its own unique place in the history of diamond lore.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - June 2016. To subscribe click here.

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