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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wallace Chan, Chow Tai Fook Unveil Sparkling Necklace From 507-Carat Diamond

"A Heritage in Bloom"

Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer, Chow Tai Fook commissioned world-renowned jewelry artist Wallace Chan to create a jewel from diamonds cut from the Cullinan Heritage, an exceptionally rare 507.55 carat Type IIa rough diamond. The result is “A Heritage in Bloom,” a necklace made of green and white jade, colored diamonds and 24 D-color, internally flawless diamonds from the original rough.

Integration of jade and diamonds–including the centerpiece of the necklace: the 104-carat, D color, internally flawless, brilliant round Forevermark diamond

The centerpiece of the necklace is a 104-carat, D color, internally flawless, brilliant round diamond with the highest possible cut grade of “3-Excellent,” according to the Chow Tai Fook, making it one of the largest diamonds ever with these characteristics. Forevermark, a De Beers Diamond brand, said Monday the diamond was one of theirs.  

Butterflies represent eternal love

The diamond necklace unites an entire family of diamonds cut from the same rough stone within a single piece of jewelry, “an artistic decision unheard of in a contemporary piece,” according to the company. It also brings together thousands of white diamonds and hundreds of pink diamonds, totaling 383.4 carats, as well as more than one hundred pieces of green jadeite and mutton fat white jade. The ornate necklace includes figures of a bat (for good luck) and butterflies (for eternal love).

If that’s not enough, the necklace is created with a modular design that can be worn in 27 different ways. The company says this is an example of the sophistication of Chan’s “design and exquisite composition” for the necklace

The bat represents good fortune

It required more than 47,000 hours from craftsmen who specialize in various areas of jewelry making. 

Chow Tai Fook, one of the world’s largest retail jewelers by market capitalization, said it paid $35.3 million for the 507-carat, Type IIa (almost or entirely devoid of impurities) rough diamond in 2010. The company then spent three years cutting and polishing the diamond.

Mutton fat white jade beads

“Today we complete a journey we began five years ago, and we could not be more proud of the exceptional and historic creation that has emerged," Dr. Henry Cheng, chairman of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited, said Thursday while unveiling the diamond in Hong Kong. "Continuing the Cullinan legend, the world-renowned master jewelry artist Wallace Chan has brought the Cullinan diamonds to life.” 

The back of the necklace’s centerpiece

Chan is recognized by many as the greatest living Asian jewelry artist. He founded his own gemstone carving workshop when he was 17 and in 1987 he invented the “Wallace Cut,” an illusionary carving technique that transcends dimensions. He was the first Chinese jewelry artist ever invited to exhibit and deliver speeches at the Gemological Institute of America headquarters. In 2012 and 2014, he was the first and only Asian artist ever invited to exhibit at the prestigious Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris.

Chow Tai Fook operates approximately 2,260 Chow Tai Fook and Hearts On Fire standalone shops spanning 500 cities in Greater China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States.

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