Incomparable? With a name like that, I just had to find out the scoop on this famous diamond. For a start, it is currently on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada and will remain there until next March 22 as part of the museum's The Nature of Diamonds exhibit in the Garfield Weston Hall.

It is the world's third largest faceted diamond. It earned its name not just because it is huge but because it is a flawless fancy diamond.

The 809 carat rough diamond was apparently found in the 1980's by a little girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire)whilst playing on a pile of rejected rocks from a nearby diamond mine. She gave it to her uncle who then sold it and was eventually bought jointly by Marvin Samuels (Premier Gem Corp) and Louis Glick (Rose Trading). I do wonder what that little girl and her family got for the diamond and whether they are still poor or not.

It took Samuels, a master cutter 4 years to study and cut the gemstone down to its present 407 carat size. 14 other satellite diamonds cut from the rest of the rough diamond are also on display. The whole faceting process was tricky because the gem was so irregular in shape. Samuels tried to cut away as little as possible because they wanted it to be bigger than the Cullinan I aka The Star of Africa - the second largest cut diamond in the world. But they decided to just concentrate on eliminating the inclusions or flaws. The resulting kite shape generated a new term - a triolette.

The Incomparable was offered for sale in the late 1980's but no one reached the seller's reserve price of $20 million. It was apparently put on eBay in November 2002 with a reserve of ~$15 million but still did not sell. It goes to show people will try anything on eBay!

Famous Diamonds

The Beading Gem's Journal