De Beers calls it the Talisman Wonder—a priceless objet that, in a pinch, could double as a plate. But that’s no way to treat a masterpiece laden with 691 diamonds. Comprising both rough and polished stones—for a total of 270 carats—the Wonder was a year in the making, although it took De Beers nearly a decade to discover enough rough diamonds (110 of them) for the eight-inch creation. Andrew Coxon, the company’s resident rock hunter, located the 17.1-carat cognac-colored center stone in the nick of time. “We made more than 20 trips for this sole purpose,” he notes, “and it was at the very last week before the deadline that we found it, in Namibia.” As for its price, CEO François Delage says the Wonder is not meant to be sold—but, nevertheless, he will entertain offers.
Photography by Henry Bourne