In 1984 a young girl was playing outside her uncle’s house in a small town, Mbuji Mayi in Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. The rubble dump in which she was playing was close to the MIBA Diamond Mine and amongst the rubble she found a diamond which weighed 890 carats, about 178 grams, the largest brown diamond belonging to the rare yellow diamond family, and the fourth largest rough diamond ever found.
The girl’s uncle sold the stone to local African diamond dealers, who then sold it to Lebanese diamond dealers, who in turn sold it to De Beers. De Beers sold it to Zale Jewellers and this diamond was co-owned by Donald Zale, Louis Glick and Marvin Samuels, who led the team in the cutting of the stone.
After several years of analysis this magnificent stone was cut into one large diamond and 14 smaller diamonds. The cutting of this irregular shaped stone, thick at one end, narrow at the other, sunken and pitted on one side and ridged on the other, required Samuels’ superior cutting techniques, which resulted in a stone that is virtually free of inclusions.
The large stone is known as the Incomparable Diamond and weighs 407.78 carats (81.5 grams). It is the third largest polished diamond in the world and the largest Internally Flawless diamond.
The Incomparable Diamond with some of its 14 satellite
It was graded by the Gemological Institute of America as Shield Step Cut (trilliant), Fancy Deep Brownish Yellow Diamond, Internally Flawless. The other 14 polished diamonds are in a range of colours – from almost colourless
to yellow brown.
The whereabouts of this diamond are unknown. On auction in 1998, with a reserve price of $20 million, it was not sold. On eBay in the early 2000s it was again not sold, despite the price being reduced to $15 million.
The Incomparable Diamond is one of the world’s enigmas and it is still thought to be in the possession of Messrs Glick, Zale and Samuels!