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Beluga Diamond

Also known as: The White Whale
Size:  102.00 carats

Who cut it?
The Beluga Diamond was cut by the William Goldberg company.  This is one of the most famous diamond cutting companies in the world.  In fact, if you go to New York, you’ll see that 48th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues (part of the diamond district) has been renamed William Goldberg Way.  Perhaps it should be “Beluga Way.” 

History:
It’s not known.  However, the type of cutting suggests it was probably cut in the 1960’s. 

Where is it now?
It apparently is in a “Royal Collection.”  Translation: some rich king or queen owns it.  If we had to guess, we’d say somewhere in Arabia. 

Why the name?
There are several theories, all involving the word “beluga” and its use in modern parlance to refer to something kind of large, and, well, fat.  “Beluga” as a word comes from the Russian “belukha,” or white.  That name came to be applied to small white whales (Delphinapterus leucas), which are kind of short and, well, fat.  Airbus applied the name Beluga to one of its oddly-shaped, freighter aircraft, which is kind of short, and, well, fat.  We’re not going to call the Beluga Diamond short and fat, but, well, it seems someone did. 

Where have I heard of this diamond?
This diamond was featured in a cover story in National Geographic (March, 2002). 

Fun Facts:
The Beluga is a D, Flawless diamond, the highest color and clarity grades from the GIA.  It is the largest modern oval-cut diamond in the world.  Even more impressive, the Beluga is a very rare Type IIa diamond, chemically and structurally the purest of all.  Only about 1% of diamonds are Type IIa, and these diamonds also possess the highest thermal conductivity.  It was this latter characteristic that made them a key plot element in Michael Crichton’s high-tech thriller “Congo,” later made into a major motion picture, starring Laura Linney.