Dubai’s first diamond-manufacturing facility, which officially opened Tuesday, has been tasked with cutting and polishing the world’s most valuable rough diamond.
Almas Diamond Services set up the factory with an investment of $1.8 million, funded by Nemesis International, a local rough dealership. The facility will focus on stones above $25,000 per carat, with Almas offering boiling, evaluation and polishing services to the local Dubai trade, the factory’s manager Filip Hendrickx told Rapaport News.
Among the first of those will be the 813-carat Constellation diamond, which Nemesis bought in partnership with Swiss jeweler de Grisogono in 2016 for $63.1 million. At $77,613 per carat, the stone ranks as the most expensive rough diamond ever sold.
The Constellation, which was displayed at the entrance to the factory during the inauguration (as pictured above), is expected to take 10 to 12 months to polish, with master cutters recruited from Antwerp to work at the factory.
Fawaz Gruosi, founder and creative director at de Grisogono, said work would soon begin on the Constellation now that another major piece — the Art of de Grisogono, Creation 1 — had been completed and was set to be sold at a Christie’s auction in November.
Creation 1 — an emerald-cut, 163-carat, D flawless diamond, cut and polished in New York from a 404-carat diamond — was the first in a series of high-end jewelry pieces that Nemesis and de Grisogono are working on together.
The partnership meshes de Grisogono’s extensive jewelry know-how with Nemesis’s diamond expertise, explained John Leitao, CEO of de Grisogono.
The Almas factory opening also extends the type of diamond-related activity taking place in Dubai. The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) wants to bring diamonds to the United Arab Emirates and with this factory the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) is now a full-service one-stop shop, Hendrickx noted. The DMCC has also partnered with Sodiam, the Angolan state-owned rough-sales unit, to source rough diamonds for the DDE.
“That partnership and the opening of the Almas cutting facility demonstrates the vertical integration of mine to market in Dubai,” said Konema Mwenenge, CEO of Nemesis. “It will facilitate growth of Dubai’s diamond industry with a turnover of high-volume rough to high-value polished.”