Cora Unveils 12-Carat ‘Blue Moon’ Diamond; Internally Flawless Gem Goes on Display in LA on Sept. 13

Back in February, we reported on luxury jeweler Cora International’s $25.6 million purchase of an “exceptional” acorn-sized 29.6-carat vivid blue rough diamond. Now, six months later, the company’s expert cutters have completed the transformation of that rough diamond into a 12-carat internally flawless cushion-cut masterpiece named “Blue Moon.”

(The name might be a subtle reference to how often these extraordinary diamonds come along, as in “once in a blue moon.”)

Photo: Cora International/Tino Hammid

The diamond, which the Gemological Institute of America rated "fancy vivid blue" and "internally flawless," is so special and so rare that it will headline a 16-week exhibition, starting September 13, at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. This is the first — and possibly the last — time the diamond will be on public display.

Among the amazing characteristics of the gem is its unusual color. “You can’t describe that blue,” Cora CEO Suzette Gomes told “You just drown in it.”

Forbes contributor Anthony DeMarco, who got a chance to see the Blue Moon up close, described the color as aqua blue, with the facets appearing as if they are “wavelets on the water.” He was struck by the transparency of the stone. “You can see clear through the diamond,” he wrote.

Unearthed in January by Petra Diamonds Ltd. at its legendary Cullinan mine in South Africa, the 29.6-carat rough was heralded at the time as “one of the most important blue diamonds ever recovered” by Petra chief executive Johan Dippenaar.

When Cora purchased the stone, it was assumed that more than half of its weight would be sacrificed during the cutting process. In fact, nearly 60% of the stone's weight was lost. Although Cora has not put a price on the stone, other diamonds of this pedigree have sold for about $1.8 million per carat.

Blue diamonds get their color from trace amounts of boron impurities in their chemical makeup.

Cora reveals how its cutters transformed a 29.6-carat rough diamond into the 12-carat internally flawless Blue Moon in the video at this link.

Video captures via

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