For me, it’s not all about the size of a diamond, it’s also about the origin and story of where it came from that adds value and interest for me.  On a rare occasion, those two factors line up to create a truly spectacular diamond.

We had the incredible privilege of hosting the largest gem quality diamond ever found in North America, the Diavik Foxfire!  A 187.7 carat diamond unearthed from beneath the frozen tundra of Canada’s Northwest Territories.  Marc and I visited the Diavik mine in the fall and were amazed by the remoteness of the barely sub Arctic locale and the incredible effort it takes to surface each diamond.

The name ‘Foxfire’ seemed particularly appropriate, as our Canadian diamonds are called ‘Ikuma’, meaning ‘to light on fire’ in an Inuit language.  Foxfire is actually a translation of an aboriginal phrase describing the Northern Lights.

Suited up

Visiting the Diavik Mine, home of the Foxfire

Diavik Mine

Diavik Mine

It’s miraculous that such a diamond formed, and again miraculous that it remained such a size as it was processed.  To extract diamonds from the host rock, kimberlite, the rocks pass through a series of processes to separate out the shiny from the more simple rock.  The first set of processes is a set of giant crushers.  The crushers are optimized to discover the usual size of diamond that comes out of the mine.  Generally, diamonds from the Diavik mine top out at six carats.  The Foxfire was not your average diamond.

Foxfire Comparison

Diavik Foxfire with a One Carat Diamond

Amazingly the Foxfire made it out of the process the extremely large size it is.  Though based on its shape and other diamonds found at the same time, it probably began as a much larger, 300+ carat diamond.

Marc in Diavik Processing

Marc Viewing the Processing at Diavik

Since it was unearthed, it has been viewed at Kensington Palace in London, in New York, and at Ben Bridge.  While the Foxfire was in town, we were able to share it in a select few settings.  We held an intimate customer event where they viewed the diamond, a selection of other special Ikuma diamond pieces, and we shared the story of Canadian diamonds.

Table Setting Foxfire Event.2Additional Ikuma Items for Foxfire Event

The Foxfire was also shown to our store managers and assistant managers during our quarterly meeting.  This passionate and educated crowd was delighted by the opportunity to view the diamond and hear details of where it came from and where it will head next.  Frans Drybooms, Rio Tinto’s Manager of Diamond Analysis, gave us a sneak peek in to the options for cutting for this diamond.  Should it become two matching 70 carat pear shapes?  How about a 100 carat maple leaf as a nod to its origin?  The final cutting decision will be made by the purchaser of the diamond.

Manager Viewing Foxfire 2

Ben Bridge Managers Viewing the Foxfire

It will be up for auction shortly and soon after will become part of someone else’s miraculous story.

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