The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Nam Diamond Selling for N$18 Million

A 25-carat rough diamond, discovered off Namibia's coast, is the most expensive item on Neiman Marcus Group's Christmas online catalogue with a reserve price tag of US$1 850 000 (about N$18 million).

The US-based Neiman Marcus Group that caters for the luxury goods market did not say when the gem was discovered, but promised the buyer the "opportunity to trace its provenance."

Neiman says, in its catalogue, "as the owner of this 25-carat rough 'Forevermark' Diamond, you'll travel deep into the heart of Africa to discover where your stone began its journey more than one billion years ago".

Forevermark is the diamond brand from the De Beers Family of Companies.

Whoever forks out the N$18 million will also be given the opportunity to undertake a trip to the De Beers headquarters in London.

"Once there, you'll receive your exceptional diamond in its rough and uncut form, name your diamond, learn about the unique inscription it will receive, and meet the master craftsman who will hand-cut and polish it to perfection," Neiman says in the catalogue

The buyer will also be accorded a private tour of The Crown Jewels and dine with De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier and Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier in the Tower of London.

The collective term Crown Jewels denotes the regalia and vestments worn by the monarch of the United Kingdom during the coronation ceremony and at other state functions.

"Your journey continues on a vessel off Namibia's coast, where your diamond was discovered deep within the ocean floor. You'll then explore rough-diamond sorting houses and a children's community project, where the local population benefits from Forevermark's responsible sourcing of diamonds.

"Upon returning to the United States, you'll meet New York jewelry designer Maria Canale to design the ring that will exhibit your exceptional diamond," the catalogue also says.

Neiman Marcus has been catering for the luxury goods market for over 100 years. Other items in the catalogue include the 2014 car, which is an Aston Martin Vanquish Volante.

There are 500 suggested gifts in the 175 page catalogue, and 40% of the items are priced under US$250, including a US$12 monogrammed mug.

Namibia is world-renowned for its gem quality placer diamonds that are found along the Orange River as well as onshore and offshore along the coastline.

Diamond are Namibia's chief exporter earner for the country and is one of the biggest employers outside of government. Diamond mining contributed 73,9% to the total mining and quarrying compared to the rest of the minerals accounting for 26,1% in 2012, according to Namibia Statistics Agency.

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