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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How Many Facets are there on the ‘World’s Smallest Diamond?’

Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

When it comes to diamonds bigger is almost universally accepted as better. However, luxury watch brand, Jaeger-LeCoultre, turned the tables a bit introducing what it claims to be the world’s smallest diamond. Perhaps the worlds smallest manufactured diamond or the world’s smallest faceted diamond may be a better claim.

Each diamond is 0.5mm in size and in an orange tray they are barely visible. However, under a microscope I can clearly see two faceted round diamonds. In fact, what I find more remarkable is that each diamond has 57 facets. No. I didn’t count the facets.

Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

Carlos Carvalheiro, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s master gem setter (pictured above), is the one who made the claim. He was demonstrating the miniature diamonds to guests attending the luxury watch brand’s 180th anniversary celebration, held at the Teatro La Fenice, the famed opera house in the city of Venice.

Carvalheiro’s claim peaked my interest. I have a lot of questions but the event was an inappropriate time for my queries. I will follow up.

My questions include whether these diamonds will appear on a watch? And whether the technique used to create them will be used for their gem-set timepieces or even used for their movements. Maybe the technique has already been applied to some of newer timepieces, such as the La Montre Extraordinaire La Rose (pictured above), which I wrote about just before leaving for Venice. I also would like to know if this is done in house.

For an industry that prides itself on innovations on a micro-level for watch movements, creating miniature gems for the exterior of watches this, in my humble opinion, is a new breakthrough in the use of micro-technology for watchmakers.

But first this claim needs to be clarified and verified.

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