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Saturday, June 27, 2009

RIP Antonio Bianco, One of the Greatest Diamond Cutters

Margalit Fox writes:

Whenever Antonio Bianco started singing at his workbench, it meant that the lump of carbon he had spent months transforming into a world-class diamond was nearly finished. Hoda Esphahani, an executive of the diamond company for which Mr. Bianco did much of his work, used to listen for that sound.

“He sang opera,” Ms. Esphahani, the president of Safdico USA, recalled in an interview in the company’s New York offices on Monday. “And when he was singing opera, I knew that the stone was almost done, and we’d have great results.”

Mr. Bianco, his colleagues said, was a Stradivari of stones, one of the most renowned diamond cutters in the world. For more than 30 years he worked in blissful anonymity in New York’s diamond district, cutting some of the largest, rarest and most valuable stones of his time — stones important enough to have their own names. The diamonds Mr. Bianco cut are owned by some of the world’s most prominent collectors, among them Hollywood film stars and crowned heads of state.

link: Antonio Bianco, Master Diamond Cutter, Dies at 57 - Obituary (Obit) -


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