By Evert P. Botha
“When I first saw and held Esperanza, it was smooth as silk and glowed like the moon. I don’t see a lot of rough diamonds, but I never knew they could look like she did!” ~ Laura Stanley, Stanley Jewelers Gemologist
A diamond like this only comes around once in a lifetime. Don’t get me wrong—my father, Mike Botha—has cut much larger diamonds in his career than this 8.52-carat stone, but Esperanza was exceptional. For starters, it is one of the biggest ever to come out of the ground at Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park, the world’s only public diamond mine and where visitors are allowed to keep anything they find.
I’ll never forget my first introduction to her at the Retail Jewelers Organization (RJO) Conference in St. Louis, Mo., in August. Jim Summa of Summa Jewelers in nearby Kirkwood handed Esperanza to me and I was speechless. Several certified gemmologist appraisers (CGAs) from American Gem Society (AGS) had already determined the stone to be a D-colour, and in all likelihood, IF-clarity, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.