Made out of the Cullinan Heritage, one of the world’s rarest and largest rough diamonds, and featuring 11,551 diamonds including a hundred other precious rocks, “A Heritage in Bloom” weighing a staggering 383.3 carat is one of the most expensive and valuable jewellery pieces ever made. It’s estimated price tag stands at $200 million. Sit tight as we give you a rundown on what and who are behind the creation of this grandiose piece.
The Cullinan Heritage is a 507.55-carat type IIA rough diamond that was discovered in South Africa and later snapped up by Hong Kong jeweller Chow Tai Fook at an auction in 2010 for a reported $35.3 million. After a three-year long process of cutting and polishing, the results were 24 colourless, completely flawless diamonds.
With the intention of putting the entire diamonds together, Chow Tai Fook offered the designing honours to world-renowned jewellery designer Wallace Chan and my! did he do a terrific job? Every detail of this masterpiece virtually depicts the elegance of the Chinese culture– the two diamond made butterflies found on the necklace represents everlasting love while the two bedazzled bats symbolizes happiness and good fortune. Even the number is not left out, in 27 different ways this bedazzled necklace can be worn, and the number 27 is the cube root of 3, which in the Chinese culture signifies infinity.
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In a bid to unite two varying cultures, Mr. Chan encrusted every piece of mutton fat white jade beans used on the necklace with diamonds (Jade beans are esteemed highly in the east while diamonds are a long-time thing of love among the westerners). While one of the Cullinan Heritage cut diamonds– a 104-carat diamond serves as the centrepiece, having other members of its family revolving around it, two other types; 20.02 carat oval-shaped and 11.94 carat round-shaped diamonds are equally conspicuous.
In addition to the 24 diamonds from the Cullinary Heritage, the necklace is further bedazzled with other carefully picked precious stones- over 500 pink diamonds, ten thousands of colourless diamonds and hundreds of green jadeite. According to the designer, the pink coloured diamonds and green jadeite were chosen to give life to the neck-piece.
The creation of the piece wasn’t at all easy, it took Mr Chan and his 22 workmen a total of 47,00 hours to come up with “A Heritage in Bloom”. One of the major problems he encountered was maintaining the gravity of the piece. In his words to CNN he said;
It was challenging, all 24 of the small diamonds came in many different shapes, I had to find a way to achieve optical balance. You’ll notice I juxtaposed all the marquise-shaped diamonds on one side and all the pear-shaped diamonds on the other side. Gravity was one of the major challenges I faced designing the necklace. The necklace would get pulled by the weight of the stones and the structure. I had to fight gravity and find the perfect proportion for each style. It took repeated experiments.
But while the price tag of this magnificent piece is estimated at $200 million, you won’t find it displayed for sale in the jewellery stores. The makers have chosen to preserve it together with their other valuables, at least for now.
When there’s so much awesomeness in a piece it’s only fair it be worn in more than one way. Here are few of the 27 ways in which the rock can be rocked…
Image source: edition.cnn.com/style