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Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Design For All-American Diamond As It Goes On National Tour

The Esperanza Diamond in its new setting by Inspired Jewellery Group

The journey of the Esperanza diamond—found in an Arkansas state park—continues as it prepares to go on a nationwide tour beginning in January. 

As Gretchen Friedrich previously wrote, the diamond was found by Bobbie “Brooke” Oskarson at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark., likely the only open-to-the-public diamond mine in the world. Mike Botha of Embee Diamonds, Prince Albert, Canada, spent 130 hours cutting the rough diamond at a special cutting event open to the public at Stanley Jewelers Gemologist, North Little Rock, Ark. Botha created a 4.6-carat triolette-shaped diamond from the rough. 

Los Angeles-based jewelry designer, Erica Courtney, was originally supposed to create a jewel for the piece. However, both Courtney and Evert Botha of Embee Diamonds cited “creative differences” and the job went to New Zealand-based Inspired Jewellery Group to design a piece of fine jewelry as the setting for the diamond. Ian Douglas, creative director of the jewelry design firm known for contemporary diamond jewelry, created a platinum pendant setting that exposes the entire triolette-shape of the diamond. 

The pendant was crafted by Byard. F. Brogan, a jewelry manufacturer in Philadelphia.

The Esperanza Diamond and its setting taken while on display at Stanley Jewelers Gemologist. Photo by Gretchen Friedrich

The one thing all of these participants have in common is they are members of the American Gem Society, a jewelry trade association. The Internally Flawless D color diamond was even graded at the AGS Laboratories. Now the diamond and pendant will go on tour at AGS locations around the country. 

The diamond and its new setting is currently on view at Stanley Jewelers Gemologist until December 27. After that it will tour the following AGS retail locations:

* Black Starr & Frost, Newport Beach, Calif., January 13-17;

* Black Starr & Frost , Phoenix, Ariz., January 20-24;

* Molina Fine Jewelers, Phoenix, Ariz., January 27-31;

* Whiteflash, Houston, Texas, February 3-7;

* Underwood’s Jewelers, Jacksonville, Fla., February 10-14

The diamond’s next step on its journey is unknown. There was talk of the diamond going up for auction but that talk is now quiet.

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