Prince Albert's Mike Botha to cut unique gemstone in Arkansas

Master diamond cutter Mike Botha has really taken a shine to his job and has been invited to cut a unique, large gemstone found by a tourist in Arkansas.

Master diamond cutter invited to work on 8.52 carat 'Esperanza' diamond

The unique icicle shape of the Esperanza diamond means master diamond cutter Mike Botha had to come up with a unique design to maximize the natural beauty of the gemstone. (Peter Yantzer, AGS Laboratories)

It's no little rock that a Prince Albert man will cut in Arkansas in September.

Mike Botha, a master diamond cutter with Embee Diamonds, is headed to Little Rock, Arkansas to work with the Esperanza diamond.

"We are honoured to have been invited to cut and polish this diamond," Botha told CBC Saskatchewan's Blue Sky. "It's an absolute beauty."

The Esperanza is an 8.52 carat diamond that was found in the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas by a tourist. It's billed as "The World's Only 'Keep What You Find' Diamond Site."

Botha said he loves the story behind the diamond. For a tourist to find a diamond this large above ground is rare.

Potentially 'a flawless diamond'

Mike Botha is a master diamond cutter with Embee Diamonds in Prince Albert. He'll be headed to Little Rock, Arkansas to cut the Esperanza diamond in September. (Summa Jewellers)

He got a chance to peer into the heart of the uncut diamond last week, using special equipment. He said it appears to be completely colourless.

"This could be potentially, a flawless diamond."

It is icicle-shaped, so he had to come up with a unique design to maximize the beauty of this particular diamond.

He said the baseline value for the Esperanza is $200,000, but it could go much higher.

"It's a piece of Americana and anybody with a bit of an appetite for that might be able to pay quite big dollars for this."

Botha said the actual cutting and polishing time will be much shorter compared to the weeks and weeks of preparation that has gone into planning how to cut.

The worst thing that could happen, he said, is that the diamond will shatter and break. However, he said all tests show this diamond is solid and a good piece of material.

"I suppose the old saying about measure twice, cut once really applies," said Garth Materie, host of Blue Sky. 

"I guess ... measure ten times!" replied Botha.

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