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NYC lawsuit: Diamond stolen in bold ‘07 London heist made its way to Hong Kong pawn shop

The Washington Post 01/14/2012 01:03
Gem: Appraisers determined the stolen yellow diamond had been 'recut and reconstituted as a 16.28 carat modified cushion cut' (file photo)

Gem: Appraisers determined the stolen yellow diamond had been 'recut and reconstituted as a 16.28 carat modified cushion cut' (file photo)


A big diamond snatched by Bentley-driving bandits in a brazen, $20 million London robbery has popped up in a Hong Kong pawn shop, says a jeweler who’s suing in New York to try to get it back.



The more than 16-carat yellow diamond was among those snatched in a July 2007 holdup at a Graff Diamonds Ltd. branch in London, the tony London-based jeweler says in a suit filed last week in Manhattan state Supreme Court.

A pair of sharply dressed bandits stepped out of a $250,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, pretended to be shoppers and chatted up store staffers before brandishing handguns and stealing diamonds and gem-studded rings, necklaces, pendants and earrings, Graff and police said at the time.

The Hong Kong shop later submitted the diamond for certification to the Gemological Institute of America, a New York-based nonprofit that grades and identifies jewels, the lawsuit said. The institute, which had certified the diamond before the robbery, determined the pawn shop had presented the very same gem, although it has been re-cut, Graff’s lawsuit says.

“Graff is and was the true owner of the diamond and entitled to immediate possession of the diamond,” but the pawn shop won’t let the institute return the gem, the lawsuit says.


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