The Queen of Kalahari's majestic entrance

We follow the journey of the rare 342-carat Queen of Kalahari diamond, which has been set into the most precious set of jewels ever made by Chopard.

The Garden of Kalahari rough diamond cut into five stones

It was love at first sight. When Caroline Scheufele, co-President of Chopard, first saw the 342-carat Queen of Kalahari rough diamond, she knew she had to buy it. “I immediately sensed that this was an incredibly rare gem of exceptional beauty and purity,” says Scheufele of her first reaction to the diamond she has since name The Queen of Kalahari.

This exceptionally large, D Colour, Flawless diamond first saw light in the Karowe Mine in Botswana and Ms. Scheufele lost no time in travelling to the mine to see the stone for herself.  From the depths of this open-pit mine the diamond was dislodged from a chunk of kimberlite that accompanied it on its journey through the earth billions of years ago.  The price the Swiss-based jeweller paid for the stone has not been disclosed. Watch the trailer of the Alexis Veller film of The Queen of Kalahari’s journey:

Once in the hands of Chopard, the stone was cut into 23 diamonds, five of which are over 20 carats presenting a high-carat challenge for Caroline Scheufele who is also the Creative Director of the house. “This is a truly exceptional stone, but we did not wish to treat it as a mere trophy,” says Ms. Scheufele, “but instead to prepare it for a destiny worthy of its stature.”

The shining finale to the journey of this remarkable stone was on 21st January 2017 at the celebrity studded unveiling of the Garden of Kalahari jewels in Paris. Singing ‘Diamonds are Forever’ Dame Shirley Bassey, below, wore the star of the collection,  a necklace featuring the three largest diamonds to come from the Queen of the Kalahari. The Garden of Kalahari necklace,  dazzles with a 50 carat brilliant cut diamond as well as two 25 and 26 carat pear shape diamond pendants. The necklace can be worn in several different ways, depending on the intensity of diamond voltage desired. It’s no surprise that Dame Shirley Bassey wore the necklace in its most magnificent form with all three diamond pendants attached. Not surprising, The Garden of Kalahari is the most precious jewellery set every created by Chopard.

Dame Shirley Bassey wore Chopard’s Garden of Kalahari transformable necklace as she sang "Diamonds are Forever" at the unveiling of the collection in Paris.

Taking a full year to complete, five more jewels, each inspired by a flower including a cuff bracelet, two rings, a secret watch and a pair of earrings make up the set.

Garden of Kalahari high jewellery diamond necklace
The Garden of Kalahari necklace includes the three biggest stones cut from the 342-carat D colour, Flawless rough. The central brilliant-cut diamond weighs 50 carats, flanked by a 25 carat pear-cut diamond and 26 carat heart-shape diamond.

And there is more to this story: as a pioneer in sustainable luxury, Ms. Scheufele has encouraged the Karowe mine to rise to the Green Carpet Challenge with Eco-Age’s validation criteria of best practices in environmental and social justice. The mine is also working toward gaining its Responsible Jewellery Council certification.

Garden of Kalahari high jewellery diamond ring
Chopard’s Garden of Kalahari ring is set with a 20-carat cushion cut graded D colour, Flawless. 

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