The Premier Rose diamond was found in March 1978 at the Premier mine in South Africa and weighs 137.02 carats. It was graded by the Gemological Institute of America as flawless, D color. Like the Niarchos diamond, it made its way thru the various stages of mining until the final step, the grease table in the recovery plant.
The grease table is a conveyer belt with grease which attracts diamonds. Diamonds are the only mineral that sticks to grease. It is then sent for cleaning.
For security reasons, the discovery of the diamond was not announced for two months. It was then purchased by Mouw Diamond Cutting Works and the diamond was named after Rose Mouw. Their American partner, William Goldberg quickly purchased a share in the diamond after learning about it.
The cutting of the diamond rough carried out in South Africa produced three diamonds. The largest stone is the “Premier Rose” and weighs 137.02 carats with 189 facets, the “Little Rose” weighs 31.48 carats and the “Baby Rose” weighs 2.11 carats. This group of diamonds is called the Premier Rose family.
The Premier Rose is the fifth largest pear shaped in the world. First largest is the Star of Africa at 530.20 carats, second largest is the Millennium Star at 203.04 carats, the third largest is the William Goldberg unnamed fancy golden yellow diamond at 200.87 carats and the brownish yellow Star of Peace weighing in at 170.49 carats is the fourth largest diamond.
The William Goldberg Corp of New York handled the sale of the Premier Rose, the Little Rose and the Baby Rose diamonds. The Premier Rose diamond sold in 1979 for $10 million dollars to an anonymous buyer. The Little Rose and the Baby Rose diamonds sold soon after.