By Maria Doulton in London
The Biennale des Antiquaires is probably the best place in the world to see spectacular jewels and amazing stones. And adding to the sparkling spectacle of the show is David Morris' impressive D colour 60.15 carat diamond, which is the top grade for colourless diamonds. It has also been classified as an Internally Flawless diamond, with a clarity that is clean as a whistle. Like the Koh-i-Noor diamond that is set into Queen Elizabeth's crown, this diamond has been classified as Type IIa or "finest water", which refers to its superior transparency.
Type IIa diamonds contain no nitrogen impurities, which gives them their amazing limpid quality. Just looking at this Internally Flawless diamond, the term "finest water" is the perfect description as the stone does indeed look like a faceted drop of water - an effect as alluring as it is improbable.
The report from the Gübelin Gem Lab in Switzerland states clearly: "This diamond of 60.15 ct combines such exceptional characteristics as to display this particular quality of the 'finest water'. Type IIa diamonds of this kind and size, exhibiting these superior qualities, are very rare. Such diamonds have been unearthed in limited numbers from various sources around the world (e.g. South Africa, Brazil and India)."
The term "finest water" dates back to the 17th century explorer Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who used these evocative words to describe the diamonds he encountered on his travels to India and, notably, the Golconda region. Today they are also referred to by the more scientific term of Type IIa.
For several months before the Biennale des Antiquaires opened its doors, the Morris family was on tenterhooks as they followed the diamond's progress on the cutting wheel in New York. Just in time for the grand unveiling, the diamond arrived and was awarded this highly sought-after classification from the gem laboratory. I am sure there were sighs all round the David Morris offices as the diamond was finally ready to be revealed to the world.