James Bond has his work cut out for him. Capturing diamond thieves while wooing women at the same time is double-duty but what happens when Mr. Bond doesn’t quite live up to this heroic reputation? It’s no April fool’s joke. Thieves get away and it’s these wins for the bad team that make the headlines. Successful diamond heists are far and few between and although diamonds are known to be a girl’s best friend, what is it about them that draws a robber’s attention? Some of the most popular diamond heists in the world may have the answer.

Diamonds: Shiny to Stolen

More than $100 million in jewelry was stolen in February 2003. The Antwerp Diamond Heist once held notoriety as the largest diamond heist in history until the Schiphol Airport diamond heist (valued at $118 million) occurred in the same month, just two years later. These thieves successfully infiltrated vaults with multiple levels of security (think infrared heat detectors, seismic sensors, magnetic fields) to rob millions in jewels, including diamonds.

Although the Antwerp and Schiphol Airport heists were carefully planned years in advance, grab and go heists do exist. In 2008, a Harry Winston jewelry store in Paris was robbed quickly and easily by four men dressed like women.

From necklaces encrusted with 116 diamonds to 120,000 carats worth of loose diamonds, it’s clear these robbers had their jewels in sight. What about these diamonds sets them apart from others?

Diamond in the Rough

Perhaps the most popular diamond, the Hope Diamond, stolen from the statue of a Hindu goddess, has the answer. Like other famous stolen diamonds, the Hope diamond is very rare, very valuable (also very blue) and is one of the largest known. Famous diamonds have also shined as beautifully as ever from year-to-year, so let’s add quality (a broad term in the diamond world). The five characteristics that elevate a diamond from every day into the dreams of thieves are:

  • Availability
  • Value
  • Size
  • Quality
  • Color

Some of the characteristics you should look for in a diamond for a unique piece of your own (to buy!) are the four “Cs”: clarity, cut, color and carat weight. Clarity means it shines with a fire, almost as if you’re looking into the sun on a warm summer day. Diamonds come in many shapes and the more unique the shape, the rarer. The less color a diamond has, the more flawless however, unique colors like, yellow, pink and blue, like the Hope diamond, are exceptionally rare. Lastly, carat weight. Of course, the heavier the weight, the more the price and this last characteristic is perhaps the most popular among thieves.

Like many precious products, each one is unique and special to the owner for a reason. What qualities do you look for in a diamond? Browse our collection for inspiration on what to add to your collection.