The Most Notorious Diamond Heists In Recent History
The Most Notorious Diamond Heists in Recent History They say diamonds are girls’ best friend. What they failed to mention is the fact that diamonds are also thieves’ favorite target. This is understandable enough given the sheer value of these precious stones. And with the strict control imposed by the very few stakeholders over the diamond trade, it is indeed an enticing prospect to somehow gain possession of, and command over, these sought-after items.
Here is a list of some of the most notorious and well publicized diamond heists in recent history. While some pulled off successful stunts, others failed and will most likely never find their stories weaved in the storyline of the Oceans franchise’s next sequel.
1. August 6, 2009 London England’s Graff Diamonds has an exhaustive collection of expensive jewelries fashioned from, or accentuated with, authentic diamonds. In the date stated above, two wealthy looking men entered the store and announced a heist. They left with 40 pieces of luxury jewelries which amounted to $65 million. They were wearing elaborate prosthetics in lieu of masks, and if it weren’t for one major mishap, they never would have been caught. The blunder involved an accidentally neglected phone in one of the perpetrators’ accidentally neglected getaway cars.
2. February 3, 2008 Around $20 million worth of rubies, gold, and of course, diamonds were nicked from Italy’s world renowned showroom; The Diamani. The heist’s success relied mostly on various coincidences. Take for example the construction project in the area which had disguised the noise created by the perpetrators’ drilling of the showroom’s basement wall, or the private showing which had allowed the heist masters to merely deal with a few staff members instead of a dozen wealthy patrons. Although, one coincidence gave them an implacable disservice, the entire breaking and entering happened during the Oscar season; hence, most of the highly valued jewelries were on loan to the A-list celebrities from Hollywood. Had it not been the case, the heist could have produced more than the aforementioned amount.
3. February 25, 2005. This is like a made-for-movie heist. For one, the whole thing happened at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport which is a rather interesting setting. Secondly, the entire fiendish plan involved stolen KLM uniforms, stolen KLM cargo truck, and of course, perpetrators in stolen KLM uniforms riding on a stolen KLM cargo truck — good for visuals. Thirdly, the heist culminated to the gang’s hijacking of a diamond-loaded truck scheduled for an Antwerp flight; a feat nothing less than action-packed. Since most of the stolen diamonds were uncut, it was difficult for authorities and appraisers to determine the exact amount of the items. A rough estimate was around $118 million.
4. December 1, 2002 The precious stones from Netherlands’ The Museon literally disappeared without a trace, therefore it is deemed as the one of the most perplexing diamond heists of all time. The diamond exhibit was part of The Hague’s goal to educate its citizens about the highly valued gems. Unfortunately, despite the museum’s modern surveillance technologies and 24-hour security personnel, a genius gang of thieves, or perhaps a sole prodigious perpetrator, was able to infiltrate the area, and claim its $12 million worth of diamond pieces.
Therese Shaw is a voracious reader of trivia and factoids. She believes that someday, this stored knowledge will come in handy. It certainly has helped every now and then in her job as a freelance writer for Brillance.com, a site for GIA wholesale diamonds and other gems.