The 6th-version of the International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI) to be held between February 13 – 15, 2017, promises to be the largest and best organized to date, with hundreds of buyers from more than 20 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, China and India taking part. Among the special guests who will be attending the trade show are the Russian diamond mining company Alrosa’s President and CEO Andrey Zharkov, Diamond Producers Association CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Executives of Chinese jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook, a delegation from the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers Association and representatives of the Armenian Jewelers Association. Among the highlights lined-up for the IDWI are international tenders of rough and polished diamonds by three major diamond producers and suppliers – Alrosa, Koin and I. Hennig; the inauguration of the Israeli Diamond Exchange’s own International Tender Center, a venue for the holding of future international rough and polished diamond tenders by major rough producers and diamond traders and a rich social program including free sightseeing to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
Star attraction at the Alrosa’s stalls, which no doubt will steal the show at the sixth International Diamond Week in Israel, making the event the most memorable held to date, will be the display of a replica of the Great Imperial Crown of the Russian Empire, which was used in the coronations of all Russian monarchs since the coronation of Catherine the Great in 1762. The Great Imperial Crown of the Russian Empire was the creation of court jewellers Ekaart and Jérémie Pauzié, reflecting their skilled workmanship. The original crown is adorned with 4,936 diamonds arranged in splendid patterns across the entire surface of the crown. Seventy four fine, large white pearls border the edges of the “mitre.” The centerpiece of the crown is a red spinel weighing 398.72 carats, one of the seven historic stones of the Russian Diamond Collection brought to Russia by Nicholas Spafary, the Russian envoy to China from 1675 to 1678, which is surmounted by a cross of five diamonds. The Great Imperial Crown of the Russian Empire is currently on display in the Moscow Kremlin Armoury State Diamond Fund. The weight of the Great Imperial Crown is 4.08 kg equivalent to 9 British pounds (lb) approximately.
The Replica of the Great Imperial Crown unveiled to the world on January 31, 2013, was created by Kristall Smolensk diamonds, a Russia-based major polished diamond manufacturer of Europe established in 1963. The company’s sales network covers all the major diamond trading centers around the world, including Smolensk, Moscow, Antwerp, Hong Kong, Dubai and New York. The replica is made of 14k white gold (original made of silver) and encrusted with 11, 426 cut and polished diamonds, weighing 1, 180 carats. All diamonds originate from Alrosa’s rough diamonds. The 398.72-carat spinel in the original is replaced by a natural rubellite (red tourmaline) weighing approximately 400 carats. The value of the replica is estimated to be around US$ 20 million.
The creation of the replica took only two months of painstaking work by more than 60 Smolensk master-jewellers, using EnvisionTEC’s Perfactory 3D Printer technology. The Replica of the Great Imperial Crown was created to celebrate a number of historical anniversaries, which coincidentally fell during the period 2012/2013. These anniversaries are the 400th-anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty; 250th-anniversary of the coronation of Catherine the Great; the golden jubilee (50th-anniversary) of the diamond cutting and polishing industry of Russia, initiated by Kristall Production Corporation in 1963; and the 10th-anniversary of the Smolensk Diamonds Jewellery Group, part of the Kristall Production Corporation founded in 1963. Smolensk Diamond Jewellery group was formed to produce high end specialist jewellery and one off custom pieces using the famous Kristall diamonds. Mr. Kunzev, CEO of Smolensk Diamonds Jewellery Group, says, “Without the Perfactory 3D Printers such a task would have taken more than one year to produce the replica crown and a lot more staff. The accuracy we can achieve on an object this size is incredible and beyond skilled craftsmen using traditional methods.”
The replica was displayed throughout Russia during the year 2013. It was then displayed at the exhibition dedicated to Catherine the Great held at the Hermitage Amsterdam Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from June 18, 2016 to January 15, 2017.
Alrosa will also put on display several large rough and polished diamonds during the period of the IDWI. Three massive rough diamonds weighing 83.59, 90.52 and 207.28 carats that will be on display will not be offered for sale. However, Alrosa’s rough and polished diamond tender will feature 108 single rough diamonds ranging in weight from 11 to 199 carats and a significant number of unique white and fancy-colored polished diamonds varying from 10 t0 80 carats, including five cut and polished diamonds originating from a single large rough stone.
The centerpiece of the Alrosa auction will no doubt be the “Star of Viluysk,” an 80.59-carat, round brilliant-cut, colorless diamond, which will be displayed on the IDE trading floor with other special stones of the company, during the IDWI, prior to the auction. Other significant diamonds that will be offered for sale include twin 10-carat fancy intense yellow radiant-cut diamonds and a 22.45-carat round brilliant-cut stone.