The Foxfire Diamond to Rub Shoulders with the Iconic Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian


The over 187-ct Foxfire Diamond, the largest known rough diamond recovered in North America, is now making history of a different kind. From November 17 through to February 16, the gem will be on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History side by side with the world famous Hope Diamond in the Harry Winston Gallery.

“The Foxfire is truly exceptional, one of the great treasures of the Earth,” said Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection. “We are delighted that our visitors will have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view North America’s largest gem-quality diamond in its natural form.”

The Foxfire Diamond was recovered on August 2015 at the Diavik Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, and the story of how this came about is itself an interesting story. When it was found, there was no idea that the area from which it was recovered contained gem quality diamonds of large sizes and hence the mining equipment was so configured as to only sift out stones of six carats and below.  Any larger material was pulverised. It is the unique flattened shape of this rough diamond that enabled it to pass through a sieve meant for six carat diamonds. Had it not been for this idiosyncrasy of nature, this stone would have been pulverised with no one being any the wiser.

As recently as in June 2016, the Foxfire Diamond was acquired by Deepak Sheth of Amadena Investments LLC/Excellent Facets Inc. in an international auction. Sheth chose to preserve the diamond intact, and has thus maintained “both the diamond’s dazzling physical characteristics and its unique story”, the Smithsonian said.

“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,” commented Sheth. “It also represents another significant chapter in the diamond’s remarkable story.”

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