A 35-carat rough diamond is the new pride and joy of De Beers’ Victor Mine in Attawapiskat, Ontario. The nickel-sized gem set a record for the largest diamond ever pulled from Canadian soil.
The rough diamond is currently undergoing a six-week cutting process that will painstakingly transform it into a 15-carat “Ideal Square” diamond with a value close to $1 million.
Once completed, the polished stone will go on an international tour to promote Ontario diamonds.
Although the five-year-old Victor Mine produces some of the highest quality diamonds in the world, it had never been known for generating particularly large diamonds. That’s until De Beers officials surprised the diamond world by unveiling their record-breaking 35-carat specimen this past week.
Crossworks, a Vancouver-based diamond manufacturer that has the acquiring rights to 10 percent of the Victor Mine’s output, purchased the remarkable rough stone for an undisclosed sum. The company assigned its most skilled diamond cutter to head up the cutting process, which will take about 300 hours to complete.
Twenty carats of material will be sacrificed from the original rough as the stone becomes an “Ideal Square,” a design with “ideal” symmetry and proportions that reveals a unique pattern of arrows in the face-up position and hearts when viewed in the table-down position. A film crew will be documenting the diamond transformation.
David Ritter of the Canadian Jewellers Association told the Toronto Star that the polished gem — which will become the headliner of an international tour to promote Ontario diamonds — could be worth $1 million.
Victor is DeBeers’ first diamond mine in the province of Ontario and produces about 600,000 carats annually. The mining operation encompasses 16 kimberlite pipes, which are cone-shaped columns of dried lava containing diamonds that were carried up from deep within the Earth more than 150 million years ago.