The $1.9 Million Tour That Comes With a Free 25-Carat Diamond
Rafat Ali, Skift
October 24th, 2013 at 4:00 AM EDT
After Colbert's deconstruction of this tour, unlikely any 0.00001 percenter would want any unwanted attention by buying this "once-in-a-lifetime adventure."
Rafat Ali, Skift
“With the purchase of this 25.83 carat rough Forevermark diamond, you will have a chance to follow its remarkable voyage, from its place of discovery to its setting in your bespoke jewelry by Maria Canale.”
“Following your first-class flight to London and a stay at a five star hotel, take a helicopter tour to the De Beers group of companies headquarters. Here, receive your 25.83 carat rough diamond, hand-selected by Forevermark experts. Meet with a master diamond craftsman to discuss how he will unleash its hidden brilliance, resulting in a polished gem of approximately 11-13 carats in the shape of your choice. Learn about the unique number to be invisibly inscribed on your diamond, and bestow upon your diamond the name that it will carry forever.
In the evening, receive a private tour of the British Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, followed by dinner in the private Queen’s House with CEO of the De Beers group of companies Philippe Mellier, Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier, and designer Maria Canale.”
“Your first class journey continues to South Africa, a country that has benefitted tremendously from the discovery of diamonds.
Enjoy a stay at a historic boutique hotel in Johannesburg, then take a private charter to Kimberley, the historic home of diamonds in South Africa. Step back into history and take in the town at the heart of the diamond rush of the 19th century. Explore an underground mine tunnel and view extraordinary rough diamonds.”
“Depart for Oranjemund – the birthplace of your exceptional treasure – situated in southwest Namibia. In this country, diamonds are mined on land and at sea; the Orange River carried diamonds from the center of South Africa to the Atlantic coast millions of years ago, depositing them across the ocean floor.
Tour the ship where your diamond was mined and witness how diamonds from the seabed at depths of 300 to 450 feet are discovered.”
“Following their discovery, experience how diamonds are sorted and selected in the rough before being supplied to diamond craftsmen for manufacturing in Namibia.
In Windhoek, visit a children’s education development project, supported by De Beers group of companies’ Namdeb Foundation, and see first-hand the benefits your diamond has brought to the local community.”
“The next stop on this incredible journey is Tswalu, a stunning luxury lodge in South Africa which actively conducts conservation work and is owned by the Oppenheimer family, historic owners of the De Beers group of companies. Enjoy the endless African skies while taking in breathtaking landscapes and indigenous fauna.
Following two luxurious nights at Tswalu, fly first class from Johannesburg to New York City.”
“Returning to the US, meet with world-renowned diamond jewelry designer Maria Canale at her showroom in New York City, designing together your bespoke jewelry to feature this truly exceptional Forevermark diamond.”
This may go down as one of the most over-the-top tour the travel industry has ever seen, though thankfully it doesn’t come out of the industry per se. In its 87th edition of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book catalog, the high-end retailer stays on course and lists the gifts super-rich would potentially be interested in buying this holiday season.
And in it is its most expensive gift, how the 0.00001 percent would travel: $1.85 million gift of the “diamond experience” where the buyer gets a 25-carat rough African diamond from which to make a personalized ring, with the help of jewelry designer Maria Canale.
The package includes a trip to De Beers’ headquarters in London, a dinner with De Beers CEO in the Tower of London, and then a trip to Africa, on a vessel off Namibia’s coast, to trace the stone’s origins, among others.
Here’s the “suggested” tour itinerary for two, though for that price they better do anything the buyer asks:
The “Forevermark Ultimate Diamond Experience” for two adults only, accompanied by Forevermark representatives
Suggested 11-day trip itinerary may be condensed to suit client’s needs
Trip includes first-class tickets to London, England; Johannesburg, South Africa; Windhoek, Namibia; New York, NY
Luxury accommodation at Claridges (England), The Hilton Hotel (Namibia), The Saxon and Tswalu (South Africa) and The Surrey (USA)
Dinner with De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier and Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier at The Tower of London
A hardcover book documenting the highlights of your diamond’s journey commemorates the experience.
And of course who else but Stephen Colbert to make fun of the tour. In a 4-minute segment Tuesday night on the catalog, Colbert spent two minutes on this tour and unveiled his own more affordable $1 million tour “The Colbert Report U-Pick-Em Blood Diamond Experience,” only this one is in Congo.
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