The Rainbow Collection
The Rainbow Collection consists of 300 rare natural fancy colored diamonds. The collection has three natural red diamonds, two of which weigh more than one carat. The total weight of the diamonds is more than 340. The Rainbow Collection is the world’s most famous and unique diamond collection and it has been exhibited 47 times worldwide. The collection is insured for US $60 million dollars (as of 2011 it is valued at over $100 million).
The item below was reported in January 2011 but I find the collection and the history of it so interesting that I wanted to share it…
Antwerp gem dealer and diamond consultant Eddy Elzas says he has no comment “yet” regarding media reports that he is planning to part with a well-known set of coloured diamonds known as the Rainbow Collection.
Reports said that billionaires from Saudi Arabia were interested in buying the set of diamonds for the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Elzas said he was invited to Jeddah last November with the Rainbow Collection, but he did no go.
The gems are estimated to be worth significantly more than $100 million.
Elzas said that he was asked by De Beers in 1981 to have talks with representatives of King Khalid of Saudi Arabia about selling him the collection so that he could present it to Prince William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as a wedding gift, but he turned the Saudis down.
“At that time, the diamond industry was in a poor state, and the price of diamonds had dropped dramatically,” Elzas told Antwerp Facets. “De Beers asked me to help get diamonds back on the front pages of newspapers by meeting with King Khalid of Saudi Arabia about selling the collection so it could serve as Charles and Diana’s wedding gift.
“I met the Saudis in London in Charterhouse Street for negotiations. The king had to promise to give the collection to the royal couple as a wedding gift and had to be exhibited in the tower of London so that the public could view them. At the time, it was enough for me just to have received the request to sell the collection. That gave me great satisfaction.”
Elzas, who is about to turn 69, said he started putting the collection together 40 years ago and that it features 300 natural fancy coloured diamonds – round brilliants, pear shapes, marquises, emerald cuts, triangles and other shapes – weighing approximately 350 carats.
“The collection was first displayed in Antwerp in 1979, and in 1980-1981 it went on exhibition at the New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco museum of natural history,” he said. “So far, the collection has been exhibited 49 times all over the world. It has matured over the years as I have improved the quality and size of the gems.
“I consider myself as someone who has brought knowledge about coloured diamonds to the world. I have given hundreds of lectures on coloured diamonds over the years. I am now a diamond consultant for very wealthy clients regarding large, luxury diamonds in the range of 50-100 carats.
“Would I sell the Rainbow Collection now? Well, I obviously won’t be buried with the diamonds. It would give me great pleasure to be able to look after my family, children and grandchildren by selling the collection. I probably would be tempted to sell the collection at some point,” said Elzas.