The Mouawad Magic

Lebanese diamond dealer Robert Mouawad first appeared on the diamond scene in the 1970s. Soon his very presence in the sale or auction room was enough to send pulses racing when it was realized that a new, significiant player had appeared. Along with his two contemporaries, Sheikh Ahmed Fitaihi of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Laurence Graff of London, he has been responsible for sone of the most astonishing record diamond prices achieved in recent years.

The Mouawad family business dates from 1890 when Daoud Mouawad, Robert's grandfather, established a small jewelry workshop in Beirut, Lebanon, after learning the craft in New York and Mexico. Later, Doaud's son, Fayez, broadened the scope of the business by moving to Saudi Arabia in 1950. The timing proved to be excellent and it enabled the family to capitalize on the country's growing wealth and to benefit from the increasing oil revenues in the Persian Gulf. Once Fayez handed the reins of the business over to his son, Robert Mouawad was to expand to Europe, development North American and Far Eastern connections, and to transform his family's jewelry business into the global empire it has become today.

Robert Mouawad has purchased a number of the world's greatest diamonds including the Nassak, the Indore Pears, the Premier Rose, the Jubilee, the Queen of Holland, the Tereschenko and the Taylor-Burton, plus numerous other fine stones which he has named.

"Each diamond is unique and has personality traits, some more appealing than others. The whiteness or fancy color, the size, the clarity, the cut, the immortal character, are all factors that contribute to the overall beauty of a stone. But it is the human touch that unveils its beauty. In its rough state it hides its true potential value. Also, the true historical value of a gem, from its formation to its birth on the earth's surface, and the many lives it has affected, are all intangibles that add to its mystique," Robert Mouawad once said, in relfecting on this amazing collection.

Not all of Mr. Mouawad's diamond acquisitions have been made at auctions. In March of 1991, in Antwerp, he purchased a 284.6-carat rough diamond that had been found in the Aredor Mine in Guinea, Africa. Through his own company's office in Belgium, it was faceted into the largest diamond in his collection bearing his name: a magnificent emerald cut later named the Mouawad Magic, with a weight of 108.81 carats. It measures 32.91 by 20.73 by 16.83 mm. The D-color, Internally Flawless gem is considered a collection item and as a result is "not for sale" at this present time.