Ask Diamond Mike

The Incomparable Diamond

The Incomparable was found in its rough state weighing 890 carats, and was found in the Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in the 1980s. It was found by a young young girl playing in a pile of rubble outside her uncle’s house. This rubble had been legitimately collected from old mine dumps from a nearby diamond mine, having been rejected during the recovery process. The girl gave the diamond to her uncle, who sold it to some local African diamond dealers, who in turn sold it to a group of Lebanese buyers.

It was later purchased in Antwerp by the Senior De Beers Buyer. As a result, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, then president of the Central Selling Organization and a De Beers director, sold it to Donald Zale, chairman of the board of the Zale Corporation. He bought the diamond in partnership with Marvin Samuels, of the Premier Gems Corporation, and Louis Glick. The huge stone was finally unveiled in November, 1984. Shortly afterwards it was put on display at the Natural History wing of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

The job of cutting was given to Mr. Samuels, renowned for his expertise in faceting large diamonds. The diamond showed many problems. Its shape was irregular: it was thicker at one end, narrower at the other; sunken and pitted on one side, ridged on the other. The surface was rough, pitted, and had many cavities and cracks. Despite its problems, it was virtually free of inclusions.

Four years were spent studying and then cutting the stone. Its owners were faced with a dilemma: Should they go for a gem with a weight that would exceed that of the Cullinan I (530.20 carats) or fashion a smaller, flawless gem, by removing the internal inclusions.

The biggest piece of rough yielded a gem weighing 407.48 carats. It is the third largest diamond ever cut. Only the Golden Jubilee and Cullinan I are larger. It is internally flawless and is fancy brownish-yellow in color.

Louis Glick is said to still own the stone to this date.

I have a variety of beautiful diamonds that you may want for yourself or a loved one. If you are considering purchasing, please contact me. Since 1991, I have helped thousands of couples select diamonds and diamond jewelry. Contact me at or call me at Gallery of Diamonds in Santa Ana, CA. 800-667-4440.

1 thought on “The Incomparable Diamond”

  1. do you know apollinaire, mademoiselle?

    “Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches…”

    je suis povrette et ancienne

    although we once gave you a gilded rose
    we do not love you as such but something
    more than death distills from our velvet lips
    such fragrance requires subtle harmony

    qui rien ne sçay

    love as we are is not a solitaire
    gem but a chemical star melting midnight
    whose hips birth both full moons and crimson tides
    the tight scent of musk igniting stardust

    je suis povrette et ancienne

    although you once shattered my diamond snake
    we love you not for such but for nothing
    less than what unfurls from your sordid kiss
    such naiveté suckles dark mendacity

    qui rien ne sçay

    whose hand is it resting on this vacant chest
    if not yours then our children remain unblest
    we are not if we forget apollinaire

    “Sois sage, ô ma doleur, et tiens-toi plus tranquille…”

    mark emmanuel christopher valentine
    (© 22 november 2012

Leave a Reply