Last Chance to See the Record-Breaking Foxfire Diamond at the Smithsonian

The largest known uncut, gem-quality diamond mined in North America is available to view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History until February 2017.

The Foxfire Diamond, which weighs more than 187 carats, was unearthed in August 2015 at the Diavik Diamond Mind in the Barren Lands of Canada’s Northwest Territories. The site is just 130 miles from the Arctic Circle, leading those who discovered the gem to name it ‘Foxfire’ – inspired by an aboriginal description of the Northern Lights as similar to the swish of fox tails.

The discovery of the Foxfire caused something of a stir among miners in the region, who believed such large, gem-quality diamonds were unlikely to exist in the area. In fact, diamonds found over the previous decade generally peaked at six carats. Because of this, the mine’s equipment was configured to sift out stones smaller than six carats, while pulverising larger ones.

Read more: Harrods Unearths 228.31 ct Diamond from its Vaults for Private Sale

The 187.63 ct Foxfire should have been crushed, but its uncommonly flattened shape enabled it to safely pass through the filters.

Diamond enthusiasts in North America, or indeed those travelling to Washington D.C., are encouraged to see the Foxfire before it is removed from public view on February 16 2017. It will also be displayed alongside the infamous Hope Diamond in the Harry Winston Gallery of the museum.

Read more: An Exclusive Interview with Gem Cutter John Dyer

In June 2016, the Foxfire Diamond was acquired in an international auction by Deepak Sheth of Amadena Investments LLC/Excellent Facets Inc. Sheth elected to preserve the diamond intact, maintaining both its unique characteristics and interesting origin story.

He says: "Having North America’s largest known uncut, gem-quality diamond on display at the Smithsonian is a testament to the rarity of the Foxfire diamond. It also represents another significant chapter in the diamond’s remarkable story." ■  

Interested in finding out more about diamonds? Sign-up to one of Gem-A's diamond courses or workshops.

If you would like to subscribe to Gems&Jewellery and The Journal of Gemmology please visit Membership.

Cover image courtesy of Amadena Investments LLC.


Around the Trade: Considering Synthetic Diamonds

Around the Trade: Considering Synthetic Diamonds

Long-standing Gems&Jewellery contributor Harry Levy FGA gives his insight on the diamond trade in 2017, focusing on three industry organisations that are shaping the conversation on synthetic diamonds.

Read more


The Gems&Jewellery Summer Issue 2017 Has Arrived!

The Gems&Jewellery Summer Issue 2017 Has Arrived!

The Gems&Jewellery editorial team are excited to announce the release of Gems&Jewellery Summer 2017 Vol 26 / No. 2.

Read more


Birthstone Guide: Alexandrite for Those Born in June

Birthstone Guide: Alexandrite for Those Born in June

Julia Griffith FGA DGA EG, gemmology and diamond tutor at Gem-A, explains why the rarity and chameleon-like qualities of alexandrite make it one of the world’s most desirable gemstones.

Read more


Gem-A Graduation 2017

Gem-A Graduation 2017

Gem-A would like to welcome students of the class of 2017 to Central Hall Westminster, this year's splendid graduation venue.

Read more


Exploring Inclusions in a Twelve Point Black Star Sapphire

Exploring Inclusions in a Twelve Point Black Star Sapphire

Guy Lalous ACAM EG summarises a technical article from The Journal of Gemmology discussing a giant 12-rayed black star sapphire from Sri Lanka with asterism caused by ilmenite inclusions

Read more


Discovering Unique Cameos of the Rainforest

Discovering Unique Cameos of the Rainforest

Helen Serras-Herman takes a look at work by Rainforest Design, carvers of beautifully unique cameos.

Read more


House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth

House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth

C W Sellors recently announced the official launch of its House Style Jewellery Collection - an exclusive collection designed by C W Sellors Fine Jewellery to complement the magnificent House Style exhibition, which opened at Chatsworth House in March...

Read more