Premier Rose Diamond-Famous Diamonds


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Origin of name

The name Premier Rose is partially derived from the name Premier Mine, the mine of origin of the diamond and partially from the name Rose Mouw, the spouse of the purchaser of the diamond Jacob Mouw, the founder of the diamond cutting firm Mouw Diamond Cutting Works of Johannesburg, South Africa.


Characteristics of the diamond

The diamond is a D-color, internally flawless (IF), pear-shaped, stone weighing 137.02 carats. Flawless clarity diamonds are extremely rare, and the Premier Rose is one such diamond. In terms of weight the Premier Rose is perhaps the 11th largest D-color diamond and the 3rd largest pear-shaped D-color diamond in the world.

Being a D-color diamond the Premier Rose is a type IIa diamond, which are Nitrogen free or contain undetectable quantities of Nitrogen. The crystals are also perfectly formed without   any plastic deformations. Such diamonds which are chemically pure and structurally perfect are absolutely colorless, and are known as the purest of the pure of all diamonds. They constitute only about 1-2 % of all naturally occurring diamonds. Good examples of these diamonds are the Cullinan diamonds, the Centenary and the Millennium Star diamonds.



The diamond was discovered in March 1978, in the Premier Diamond Mines of Transvaal, South Africa, the renowned diamond mine that also produced the world's largest diamond, the Cullinan, in 1905, and other famous diamonds, such as the Niarchos in 1959 and Taylor-Burton in 1966. The Premier Diamond Mine was one of the most productive diamond mines in the world. It was also the source of several exceptional quality colored diamonds, including the very rare blue diamonds. After the exhaustion of blue diamonds in the Golconda Mines of India, the next important source of blue diamonds in the world was the Premier Mine.

The circumstances  of the discovery of the Premier Rose is exactly similar to that of the Niarchos, the diamond having passed through all the stages of the recovery process without being noticed, only to emerge at the final phase, the grease tables of the recovery plant. The rough diamond had a weight of 353.9 carats, with a triangular shape, and was incorrectly referred to as a "cleavage piece", when there was no evidence of mechanical or natural cleavage on the diamond.

The discovery of the diamond was kept a secret for almost two months, due to security reasons, but once the discovery was disclosed to the world, wild speculations began appearing in the press about the possible destinations for the finished diamond. One news report speculated that Prince Rainier of Monaco was planning to buy the diamond as a wedding gift for his daughter Princess Caroline, who was to get married in the near future, but this report was later denied by the Prince. Another report speculated that an unnamed European royal family was interested in the diamond. Even Emperor  Bokassa, the self-proclaimed King of the Central African Republic, who had already spent 20 million pounds on his coronation was not spared. Finally Jacob Mouw, the founder of the Johannesburg Mouw Diamond Cutting Company, successfully negotiated the purchase of the diamond for an undisclosed sum from the De Beers Mining Company, owners of the Premier Diamond Mine.

The Mouawads then contacted their American partner, William Goldberg, who also purchased a share in the diamond. Subsequently, when Mr. Goldberg saw the diamond for the first time, he is reported to have said, "A lot of people are going to be interested; this is an unusually exciting diamond."

The cutting of the diamond was entrusted to a team of expert cutters of the Mouw Diamond Cutting Company of Johannesburg, South Africa. The sawing of the diamond was carried out by Frans Swanpoel and the cleaving of the lesser half of the diamond was done by Sylvian Mouw. The polishing of the two diamonds the big Rose (137.02) and the little Rose (31.48) was carried out by the famous cutter and polisher David du Plessis; and the 2.11 carat "Baby Rose" was done by Mike Botha and Willem Joubert. The three stones from the original rough diamond are together known as the Premier Rose Family, with the largest keeping the name of Premier Rose Diamond. David Du Plessis, was subsequently responsible for the cutting and polishing of the Centenary and Golden Jubilee diamonds, which were discovered in 1986 and 1985 respectively, also in the Premier mines.

The Premier Rose collection ranks amongst the finest polished gems in the world and became the benchmark in symmetry and proportions for large fancy cut diamonds.

The sale of the diamonds were handled by William Goldberg Corporation of New York. In 1979, the Premier Rose was sold to an anonymous buyer for 10 million US dollars. The Little Rose (31.48 carats) and the Baby Rose (2.11 carats) were sold sometime later.


Last transaction and present owners of the diamond

Recently Robert Mouawad the great collector and connoisseur of diamonds purchased the Premier Rose and added it to his rare and magnificent collection of diamonds. The Premier Rose is the second largest diamond in his collection after the Jubilee weighing 245 carats.


List of famous white diamonds greater than 100 carats in weight


Name Carat Weight


1 Cullinan I 530.20 pear
2 CullinanII 317.40 cushion
3 Centenary 273.85 modified heart
4 Jubilee 245.35 cushion
5 Millennium Star 203.04 pear
6 La Luna 200.07 heart
7 Orlov 189.62 rose
8 Jacob-Victoria 184.50 oval
9 Regent 140.64 cushion
10 Paragon 137.82 7-sided
11 Premier Rose 137.02 pear
12 Queen of Holland 135.92 cushion
13 Zale Light of Peace 130.27 Pear
14 Niarchos 128.25 Pear
15 Portuguese 127.02 asscher
16 Jonker 125.35 emerald
17 Al-Nader 115.83 pear
18 Taj-i-Mah 115.06 moghul
19 Edna Star 115.00 emerald
20 Koh-i-Nur 108.93 oval
21 Mouawad Magic 108.81 emerald
22 Cartier 107.07 pear
23 Star of Egypt 105.51 emerald
24 Mouawad Splendor 101.84 pear
25 Star of America 100.57 asscher
26 Star of Happiness 100.36 radiant
27 Star of the Season 100.10 pear

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