• 453 THE LESOTHO III DIAMOND, HARRY WINSTON
The marque-shaped diamond weighing 40.42 carats, flanked by taperd baguette diamonds weighing approximately 1.50 carats, mounted in platinum, signed Winston. Together a brooch attachment (diamonds detaches from ring mounting). (2)
Accompanied by G.I.A. report no 8682475 stating that the diamond is L color (Faint Brown), VS2 clarity; together with original working diagram stating that the stone may by potentially flawless.
This ring was an engagement present from Aristotle Onassis
The history of this diamond begins in Lesotho, South Africa,in May of 1967 when a large brownish rough of irregular shpe was found by Mrs. Ernestine Ramaboa, wife of digger Petrus Ramaboa. Mr. Ramaboa was certain that the object she found at the Letseng-la-Terai diggings was a diamonds although the rough was dull and cloudy. She paced it in her pocket for safekeeping and made her way back to her hut to await her husband’s return.
Without a word to their colleagues, the Ramaboas made their way on foot to Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, where they hoped to find a buyer. They were rewarded for their efforts and the stone was sold to Eugene Serafini, a south African dealer, who, in turn, sold it to a dealer from Europe. According to Ian Balfur in his book Famous Diamonds, the 601-carat rough is the eleventh largest gem quality on record and the largest ever to the be discovered by a woman.
In October of 1967, the Lesotho, like many other notable diamonds, made its way into the hands of Harry Winston. Mr. Winston invited the Ramaboas to New York to participate in a press conference in which the stone was introduced to the American public. Leter it was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Natural History in New York. In arch of 1968, after weeks of deliberation, the Lesotho was cleaved by Pastor Colon, one of Winston’s master cutters; the event was broadcast live on television. Soon after, the polishing of the Lesotho was completed, resulting in eighteen gems totaling 242.50 carats, all noticeably lighter in color than the original rough
The present stone, a marquise-shape of 40.42 carats, was the third in size to be cut from the rough; the two larger stones, weighing 71.73 and 60.67 carats, are both emerald cut. All three diamonds were sold individually as rings to private buyers by 1970.
Ian Balfour, Famous Diamonds, London: Williams Collins Sons & Ltd., 1987, pp.200-203.
Laurence S. Krashes, Harry Winston: The Ultimate Jeweler, Harry Winston Inc. and the Gemological Institute of America, New York: 1988 (Third Revised Edition), p.100.
Diamonds Promotion Service, Notable Diamonds of the World, edited by Barbara Gleason, pp.25-26
The Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, April 23-26, 1996, SOTHEBY’S Publications, New York, 1996.
Sale Code: 6834 “JKO”
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 91.44 cm x 152.4 cm (36” x 60”)
Date of creation: May, 2016.