How this 5655-carat, 1,133-gram Zambian emerald came to Delhi

Go see this landmark stone at Diacolor, a jewellery boutique in Delhi

Diacolor, the single-boutique jewellery brand in Delhi, has acquired a 5655-carat, 1,133-gram Zambian emerald, one of the largest in the world, called the Inkalamu (Lion, in Tonga). With a heart of the darkest green, it was mined by Gemfields at the 35-year-old Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine, and then auctioned in Singapore in November last year.

“The emerald is rare not just because of its size, but also because of its golden-green hue, its brilliance and lustre,” says Rishabh Tongya, the third-generation jeweller, who with his father, Rajkumar Tongya, was responsible for the company’s entry into retail eight years ago. Rishabh says while diamonds have been commodified (there are the clear Cs: carat, colour, clarity, cut) “coloured stones are more about art and nature. There’s a big difference in how we look at diamonds and coloured stones. These must appeal to you.”

This makes it less technical to select, but also means that only someone with a lifetime of experience may be able to make an educated choice. “A gemstone is a stone at the end of the day, but the basic difference is that it has to have an RDB : rarity, durability, beauty,” says Rishabh. Anything, he says , can be turned into art — he cites the three-foot-high stainless steel Rabbit by Jeff Koons that sold at Christie’s for $91,075,000. “And here we’re talking about Mother Nature. There are millions and billions (of dollars) that go into mining, but just one or two (prized) pieces come out of it,” he says. The green rock is therefore “precious and priceless,” he adds, not disclosing its value.

Now, Diacolor hopes to work with a museum in India, to loan it out for display and create an awareness beyond diamonds; rubies are getting very rare, but there’s both availability and production of emeralds. For now, emeralds constitute about 5% to 10% of stones that Diacolor sells.

Rishabh’s ultimate aim is to make Diacolour an international design brand that works with art (rather than as a local jeweller who works with commodities ), with an Indian heart and soul. “We’re in no rush, but over the next two or three years, we should be a five-store brand,” he says. The company holds a single-digit stake in Gemfields, held through the Dubai entity.

On view through 12 June 2019, at Diacolor, Second floor, DLF Emporio, Vasant Kunj; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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