Written by Jewelry Expert, Jill Newman
William Goldberg knew the secret to shaping a diamond’s fame and fortune. It requires passion, skill, and considerable risk to create a famous diamond. And there’s one more thing: Legendary stones are christened with a moniker that defines their legacy and records their place in the annals of historic diamonds and gems. The mere mention of the Hope Diamond, for example, and people instantly know it’s the magnificent 45-carat blue diamond that lives at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.
That’s why William Goldberg named another one of the world’s most important blue diamonds the Blue Lili. It’s named for his beloved wife, Lili, and to solidify its place in the chronicles of remarkable diamonds. Over his career, Goldberg had the naming rights to numerous incredible diamonds that he shaped into the famous diamonds – and that we are still talking about today.
The Rock is William Goldberg’s latest record-breaking diamond to make international headlines. At 228.31 carats (the size of an egg), it is the largest white diamond to ever come to auction. On May 11, 2022, Christie’s sold The Rock for $21.9 million.
Chasing historic diamonds
William Goldberg was a visionary who saw the possibilities in unusual rough diamonds—and he was willing to take the risk. One small miscalculation in cutting and polishing the stone, and the diamond could crack or miss the mark of greatness.
“Diamonds in the rough hold secrets, surprises and risks,” William Goldberg once said. “Intuition, experience, artistry and, at times, a little luck all play a role in revealing what is inside. But it starts with a decision, the courage to make an investment, and in real sense, the ability to see the light through the stone.”
His passion and expert eye were passed on to his son, Saul, daughter, Eve, son-in-law, Barry Berg, and grandson, Benjamin Goldberg who continue to pursue and handle world-class diamonds.
William Goldberg’s Famous Diamonds
The Blue Lili
The Blue Lili started as a whopping 100 carat rough stone, but the legendary diamantaire sacrificed its size to carve out the historic 30.06-carat diamond. The fancy intense blue diamond is revered for its deep blue hue, size and unique trapezoid-cut. And its moniker is equally memorable.
The Red Shield
Yes, red diamonds exist but you won’t likely ever see one outside of a museum. So, when William Goldberg heard of a 14-carat rough red diamond discovered in Brazil, he chased it down. After months of studying the stone, Goldberg decided to shape it into a modified triangular brilliant cut resembling a shield. The result: the 5.11-carat fancy red, internally flawless diamond. Considered the largest red diamond at the time, the Red Shield had the honor of being displayed twice at the Smithsonian Museum.
The Pink Muse
When William Goldberg saw the 40-carat imperfect pink rough diamond, he envisioned a record-breaking fancy colored diamond. After months of cutting and polishing, his master diamond cutters produced an 8.89-carat fancy vivid purple-pink oval diamond. It’s ranked as one of the most beautiful pink diamonds of this size and intensity of color.
You could say that William Goldberg became obsessed with the beautiful Ashoka diamond. Hundreds of years old, the original Ashoka was a 41.37-carat D flawless diamond in an elongated cut with rounded corners. After fixatedly studying it for years, William Goldberg finally unveiled his own patented ASHOKA® diamond cut in the same elegant, extended shape with precisely rounded corners. It’s the company’s proprietary cut, produced in limited quantities, and in high demand around the world.
When William Goldberg purchased the 265.82-carat rough, its frosted exterior prevented him from making a detailed study of what was inside. But Goldberg had a hunch that this was going to be something special. He was right: He shaped it into four D-flawless diamonds, including the spectacular 102-carat oval-cut diamond, the size of an egg, and appropriately christened the Beluga.
The Premier Rose
At 137 carats, the magnificent Premier Rose is the sixth largest pear-shaped diamond in the world. More than its size, it’s also an exceptional D internally flawless diamond. It began as a 353.9-carat rough stone discovered in the Premier Diamond Mine in South Africa. After hundreds of hours of cutting and polishing, William Goldberg created three extraordinary diamonds from the single rough stone. Fifty years after it was cut, the Premier Rose remains a famous diamond.