By Rachael Taylor, JFW

Fawaz Gruosi at the sorting table with the 4 de Fevereiro
Fawaz Gruosi at the sorting table with the 4 de Fevereiro
de Grisogono's Fawaz Gruosi at Eden Roc Cocktail Party, Cannes
Fawaz Gruosi at Eden Roc Cocktail Party, Cannes
De Grisogono's 813ct Constellation diamond
De Grisogono's 813ct Constellation diamond

De Grisogono founder Fawaz Gruosi has always been serious about diamonds, but last year his purchase of two of the world’s largest rough diamonds catapulted his jewellery house into an elite, sparkling stratosphere.

Historically, Gruosi has favoured the unusual and the undervalued when it comes to diamond selection. He’s widely considered to be responsible for the rise of the black diamond in luxury jewellery – he spotted the stones’ beauty and started building collections around them when most others left them on the reject pile. He was also a pioneer in the use of milky diamonds – cloudy, included stones.

De Grisogono’s acquisition last year of the 404ct 4 de Fevereiro and the 813ct Constellation, the world’s third-largest gem-quality diamond, are a stark contrast to this. When cut and polished they will become some of the most valuable diamonds on the planet. Gruosi tells us more about his move into gob-stopper diamonds.

Both of these enormous diamonds were roughs, straight from the mine. Why buy a rough diamond rather than one that is already cut?

“It means we have the incredible opportunity to manage the entire cutting process. I can bring my creativity and vision to the stone from the very start.”

You paid US$63 million for The Constellation, and by the time it is cut and set in a piece of jewellery the price will exceed that. Are you confident of finding a buyer for such an expensive diamond?

“Since the acquisition of The Constellation, we have already seen several expressions of interest. De Grisogono specialises in high jewellery pieces of the highest quality. These pieces are produced for discerning clients who, rightly, have the highest expectations when it comes to their jewellery. We are absolutely confident about the enduring appeal of historic diamonds and pieces of the highest craftsmanship and design. We will be selling this exceptional stone, but not only. De Grisogono is inventing a new, surprising and innovative ultra-high jewellery language.”

What do you plan to do with the diamonds?

“The 4 de Fevereiro is currently being set in an outstanding work of art. I can’t wait to show you this beauty, combining a truly historical stone, daring creativity and loving craftsmanship. As far as The Constellation is concerned, it goes to show that to create perfection requires time and patience. Schedule is secondary in such process.”

The 404ct 4 de Fevereiro diamond
The 404ct 4 de Fevereiro diamond

Is this start of a new chapter at De Grisogono?

“This is an incredibly exciting time in the company’s development. We are focused on making De Grisogono one of the top high jewellery companies in the world – one based on unique design, unique stones and unique craftsmanship; the best brand for the best customer. Both rough diamonds’ acquisition are key milestones in our history. Never before has a jewellery brand acquired such historical rough diamonds within the same year, much less one that is less than 25 years old.”