The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) received The Lady Heart Diamond Collection from February 1 to November 30, 2013, shown to the public for the first time. Each of the five diamonds in this exceedingly rare collection is a different amazing color: red, pink, orange, yellow and blue. The stones are all heart-shaped in cut, ranging in weight from 1.71 to 2.28 carats. They are set in separate pieces of jewelry set in gold, custom designed for this temporary exhibition in NHM’s Gem and Mineral Hall “Gem Vault.”
"A heart-shaped diamond itself is immensely rare,” says Bernard Bachoura, a fourth generation jeweler from Southern California’s Sophia Fiori and designer of The Lady Heart Diamond Collection. “While the diamond is in the rough, the final shape of the stone is determined by the diamond cutter based on which shape will best maximize carat weight, symmetry, and value. The unusual heart shape requires the cutter to sacrifice significant carat weight in order to achieve the desired result. It makes the heart shape a risk the cutter must be certain he or she is willing to take."As of the diamonds themselves, the grade of Fancy Vivid color given by the Gemological Institution of America (GIA) to each single diamond in the collection represents the best grade for a colored diamond. According to GIA, over the millions of diamonds mined each year, only a handful achieves this top grade. The pure red color of the 1.71-carat diamond is the most sought-after in the gem market today, while the 2.00-carat pure orange diamond is probably the rarest to be found.
The Lady Zahira is a 2.26 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond heart uniquely imbedded in a rose gold encasing. Originating from the Zimi mines of South Africa, the color of this diamond is more intense than most vivid yellow diamonds.Even in very low light, the intensity of a vivid yellow color is evident. This perfectly cut heart shape not only captures the most vivid yellow found in nature, but is also the most intense color in the Fiori Collection.
The Lady Orquidea is a 2.00 carat Fancy Vivid Orange diamond heart mounted in a heart shaped bezel accented with pave white diamonds. Vivid orange diamonds are believed to be the rarest of the colored diamonds. Pure orange natural diamonds are extremely scarce and can only be classified as such if there is no trace of brown in the stone.
The Lady Leilani is a 1.73 carat Fancy Vivid Pink heart shape diamond, set in a modern rhythmic white gold tear drop pendant with pave white diamond accents.
The Lady Diantha is an internally flawless 2.28 carat Fancy Vivid Blue heart shape diamond. This heart shape diamond is mounted in a heart shaped bezel accented with pave colorless and yellow diamonds. Blue diamonds are given their color by extremely low concentrations of boron within the stone. Blue diamonds have frequently been the center of attention among royalty, including King Louis XIV. The rarity of the Diantha’s diamond shape, color, and clarity further define the Lady Heart Collection’s historic importance as a distinctive and timeless assortment of colored diamonds.
The Lady Mandara is a 1.71 carat Fancy Vivid Red heart-shaped diamond, mounted with 5.90 carat total weight of colorless pave diamonds. Pure red diamonds are the rarest in the pink diamond family. The Mandara Fiori is documented by GIA as being one of the largest vivid red diamonds in existence. It is also documented as the largest vivid heart shaped diamond GIA has ever certified. Proportionally, this diamond is a perfect heart shape, rather than a modified heart like most heart-shaped diamonds tend to be. Before this stone was cut there was absolute certainty, because of its nature, that the final shape would be a heart. This diamond is the anchor of the Lady Heart Collection, reaffirming the collection’s unparalleled significance.