M. Vainer Ltd. Gives fancy color rough diamond collection to GIA

To commemorate Milos Vainer’s numerous contributions to the diamond industry and to mark his 80th birthday, his sons, Richard and Martin, has given a unique collection of fancy color rough and partially worked diamonds to the Gemological Institute of America. The set, totaling 336.20 cts., will be used for display, research, and educational purposes at the Institute.

The collection includes 11 diamond twins totaling 20.56 cts., a 5.61-ct. pale blue-gray diamond crystal and approximately 69 fancy color rough diamond crystals (23.75 cts. total weight), 90 industrial-grade diamond crystals (44.43 cts. total weight) and 43 partially worked diamond crystals (48.15 cts. total weight).

The gift also includes two rare West African compound diamond crystals—specimens that have formed from smaller crystal groups to create irregular shapes. One is a translucent specimen known as a “hedgehog” weighing 109.47 carats. The other is 84.23-carat olive green translucent cluster with a crude cube top.

“Such a range of rough broadens our examples of colored diamond crystal structures and allows us to better understand the color origin characteristics in a variety of known samples,” said colored diamond expert John King of the GIA Gem Laboratory. “This is an important contribution to GIA’s research and education missions.”

Milos Vainer, a longtime member of the diamond business, began his career in London as a trainee at De Beers in 1948. He worked closely with the Oppenheimer family and made a name for himself in Sierra Leone when De Beers sent him there as a buyer in the late-1950s.

Vainer left De Beers in 1962 to start his own business, M. Vainer Ltd., a London-based company that specializes in natural fancy color and large diamonds. He set up a trading and manufacturing facility, including an industrial tool factory, where he spent a number of years trading and manufacturing diamonds. Today, some of the last few polishers still working in the United Kingdom are employed by M. Vainer Ltd.

In 1970, Vainer was appointed the government valuer to Botswana. He advised the Botswana government on all diamond matters, including its negotiations with De Beers, rough diamond sales, the establishment of the country’s own diamond valuing company, and the training of its nationals in valuation and sorting. Vainer has also worked as a valuer for Australia’s Argyle mine and in Angola, Namibia, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone, among other countries.