While the history books abound with accounts of legendary diamonds originating in South Africa, this amazing diamond story is all about North America. In June of this year a visitor to the Crater of Diamonds State Park, a popular tourist destination in Murfeesboro, Arkansas, found one of the largest diamonds ever unearthed there. The rough crystal that Bobbie (Brooke) Oskarson found weighed an impressive 8.52 carats and she has named it “Esperanza” after her niece.
In a serendipitous bit of irony Esperanza is the Spanish word for “Hope”, which is also the name of another pretty famous diamond!
After making her historic find, the ecstatic owner of the diamond quickly began doing research which led her to well-respected diamond expert and AGS Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser (ICGA) Neil Beaty of Denver, Colorado. Mr. Beaty provided the professional guidance she needed for dealing with a gem of this stature.
Esperanza in the rough courtesy of American Gem Society
What unfolded from there is where the story becomes even more interesting. Master diamond cutter Mike Botha of Embee Diamond Technologies out of Canada was called in to evaluate the rough crystal. Through collaboration between the owner, the appraiser, the diamond cutter and the American Gem Society (AGS), it was decided to craft the stone in its home state of Arkansas. A mini-factory was set up in North Little Rock at AGS member store Stanley Jewelers for the cutting of the diamond. After extensive study Mr. Botha designed an extremely innovative approach to maximizing the beauty of the Esparanza, fashioning it into a 147 facet Triolette. At the time of this writing it looks like the diamond will finish out at about 4.60ct with a perfect color grade of D and clarity of Internally Flawless certified by the AGS Laboratories
The Esperanza Diamond courtesy of Embee Diamond Technologies Inc.
To create a piece of jewelry befitting a stone of this importance, American jewelry designer Erica Courtney has been commissioned to create a one-of-a-kind pendant with the Esperanza. This will complete the “All American” loop for this historic diamond.
has done a brilliant job in bringing the project together and seeing that every phase was in keeping with creating a special provenance for this piece that will resonate throughout history. Everyone looks forward to seeing the glorious final product – especially the owner of the Esperanza!