Stolen diamond in Hong Kong
Willis, Amy, from Los Angeles
The Telegraph, 2012-01-13; The Telegraph Website Home»News»World News»Asia»Hong Kong, URL: < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/hongkong/9011896/Stolen-diamond-in-Hong-Kong.html >, Release date: 2012-01-13.
A 16-carat diamond that was stolen in a £13 million jewellery heist in London five years ago has turned up in a Hong Kong pawn shop, according to court papers.
Large Diamond; A 16-carat diamond was stolen in a £13 million jewellery heist in London five years ago Photo: ALAMY
By Amy Willis, Los Angeles 7:24AM GMT 13 Jan 2012
The gem, a rare yellow stone, was discovered during a valuation at the Gemological Institute of America (GIC), a non-profit organisation in New York that grades and certifies valuable stones.
The jewel is believed to have been among dozens of precious items stolen from the Graff jewellery store in Sloane Street in London five years ago.
Two smartly-dressed men walked into the high-end store and pulled out silver handguns after passing through the shop’s security airlock.
The pair then helped themselves to millions of pounds worth of necklaces, pendants, rings and jewels before leaping into their £85,000 Bentley and speeding away.
No arrests were made after the incident despite CCTV footage of the men being released.
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None of the jewels have been recovered since the theft.
The suspect gem was discovered after the Yau On pawn shop in Hong Kong presented a “16.28 carat modified cushion cut diamond” to the GIA valuation centre in New York, the court papers said.
However, the valuation centre had assessed the stone before the theft and had detailed information about its grade and structure on file. The 16.68-carat gem had been recut but it was still identifiable, the court papers said.
Graff diamonds is now suing the pawn shop to recover the jewel.
"Graff is and was the true owner of the diamond and entitled to immediate possession of the diamond," but the pawn shop wont let the institute return the gem, the lawsuit says.
The yellow diamond is being kept at the GIA’s laboratory while the outcome of the court battle is decided. The pawn shop insists the gem belongs to them.
The value of the rare stone remains a mystery.
In 2003, another Graff location, on Londons Bond Street, was robbed of $41 million worth of gems. A man was convicted of that theft and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
In 2009, the Bond Street store became the target of a $65 million stickup that counted as one of Britains biggest jewellery heists. Five men have been convicted in that robbery and sentenced to 16 or more years in prison.
English Bibliography: Willis, Amy, 2012, Stolen diamond in Hong Kong. The Telegraph, 2012-01-13; The telegraph Website Home»News»World News»Asia»Hong Kong, URL: < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/hongkong/9011896/Stolen-diamond-in-Hong-Kong.html >, Release date: 2012-01-13. Guoying Scitech website: URL: < http://www.guoying.com.cn/xinwen.jsp?id=825 >, Release date: 2012-01-14.