UNCUT GEM: LOUIS VUITTON BUYS WORLD’S LARGEST UNCUT DIAMOND

At 1,758 carats, to say it’s a whopper would be an understatement

16.01.2020

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Louis Vuitton has bought the world’s largest uncut diamond, a humongous 1,758-carat stone found in the Karowe mine hundreds of metres deep into the earth’s crust in Botswana. Lucara, the mining company that recovered it, discovered the stone last April, and it is the second-largest diamond to be found in over a century.

But what does this mean for Louis Vuitton? The brand usually known for its monogrammed trunks, leather accessories and ready-to-wear collections headed by Virgil Abloh (menswear) and Nicolas Ghesquière (womenswear), clearly want to make a bigger move into the jewellery market. With LVMH’s recent acquisition of Tiffany & Co. for £14.7bn in cash, the highest amount paid for any luxury company, it’s no secret that LVMH’s intentions lie in growing their presence in the high jewellery world. The luxury group also opened a new Louis Vuitton store at the prestigious Place Vendôme, Paris’ iconic square for high jewellery.

Despite Louis Vuitton’s plans to expand further into high jewellery, it’s not exactly new for the maison. In 2001 Marc Jacobs designed an aeroplane charm bracelet retailing at $20,000, which was the first ever jewellery piece for the label. In 2018, LVMH invested further by hiring Tiffany & Co. design director, Francesca Amfitheatrof, as the new artistic director of jewellery and watches for the brand. Since her placement she has modernised Louis Vuitton’s approach, introducing a more fashion-forward aesthetic. Logo-embossed signet rings and chunky bracelets inspired by Joan of Arc introduced a contemporary offering to the brand’s jewellery collection.

Louis Vuitton’s chairman and chief executive, Michael Burke, in an interview with the Financial Times said “We’re not specialising in rings with a centre stone, surrounded by pavé diamonds — others do that very well… If we are going to exist in this métier, we have to have a different creative approach.” At this moment in time, we’re not sure exactly what the largest uncut diamond will be made in to, but we’re excited to find out.

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