Can A Man Wear A 60.66-Carat Diamond? The Roland Iten R60 Diablo Belt Buckle Says Yes
At least in cultures I’m familiar with, it is a relative taboo for a man to wear a significant diamond.
Unless you are a rapper, that is.
And while a rapper may wear an eye-catching amount of “bling” or “ice” every now and then, I must say that I have never, ever seen a hip-hop singer wear such a momentously sized diamond that an auction house might describe it as “important” in a sale catalog.
In fact, I can’t really say I’ve ever seen a woman wear a significant diamond in the 60-carat range, either. Unless I was looking at pictures of coronations, royal galas, stars on the red carpet, or something akin to Elizabeth Taylor’s legendary Taylor-Burton diamond.
With the advent of the R60 Diablo mechanical belt buckle, Roland Iten now assures the world that you no longer have to be a princess to wear an incredible jewel in an everyday setting.
Or even a prince.
Mechanical luxury for the waist
Roland Iten has based his eponymous company on his invention of mechanical belt buckles that are designed for exceptional comfort, easy one-handed tightening and loosening, and playful mechanics that turn the everyday into a theatrical performance.
Iten’s buckles are luxurious, exclusive, and popular among gentlemen in the know. Designed, developed, and manufactured according to the same exacting methodologies that are utilized in creating very fine Swiss watches, Iten’s mechanical delights are 100 percent Swiss made.
When noted gemologist Claude Sfeir approached Iten with the 60.66-carat fancy cognac diamond with collaboration in mind, Iten took one look and knew just what to do.
“Imagining myself a small boy again, I saw a spaceship or a racecar in it,” he said.
Thus, Iten was immediately inspired to design a mechanical belt buckle caliber to perfectly enhance the inherent beauty of the diamond, showcasing it, but in such a way as to make the carbon behemoth easily fold into the metal object’s design and not overpower it.
The diamond in question here, which Roland Iten has named the Diablo, is one of exceptional provenance and importance. Weighing in at 60.66 carats, its natural orange-brown (“cognac”) color classifies it as a fancy diamond (as colored diamonds are often called).
Its clarity has no inclusions visible to the naked eye, and two gemstone assessment organizations (the GIA and Christian Dunaigre) classify it as a Type IIa. Less than two percent of all diamonds earn classification as a Type IIa; those that have earned the right to this classification are among the most chemically pure diamonds and boast exceptional optical transparency.
Hailing from India’s Golconda region – a fact that makes the gemstone even more prestigious as the legendary mines of this area have been tapped out since 1725 – this large gemstone’s provenance can be traced back almost 160 years (the rough diamond itself is millions of years older, of course).
“Diamonds from the Golconda region may fetch a premium price that is two to five times more than that of a diamond of comparable quality originating elsewhere in the world,” Sfeir recently told me. Due to its age and place of origin, the Diablo is considered conflict-free.
The Diablo’s modified kite-shaped brilliant cut is an interesting one developed from the fact that at the time of its first shaping, its slight asymmetry and irregular shape – which are not visible to the untrained eye – could be the result of an antique cut performed between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries when it was impossible to obtain perfect symmetry.
Generally, a diamond of this significance is set into a piece of feminine jewelry brought out only for important once-in-a-lifetime events. Barring that, it becomes a collector’s cherished safe queen, destined to remain buried treasure unless something changes the course of its fate – like death, divorce, or natural disaster.
Iten was directly inspired to utilize the sparkling aesthetics of the large, faceted diamond in a man’s accessory. As it spurred his imagination on first sight, it is also likely to fill its new owner with the same sort of enthusiasm. “I was in love with it the first time I saw it,” Iten admitted. “I saw a spaceship, I saw a car; I immediately saw…the design of it.”
Thus, it was important to Iten to create a special mechanical setting that was neither prong nor bezel setting, but rather a little bit of both – one that doesn’t hide the Diablo’s corners and allows light to pass through the stone from all angles, enhancing its brilliance. “[The setting] allows you to see the sexiness of the stone,” Iten went on to explain.
The airy setting also allows one to look right through the diamond to the intricate components of the cleverly complicated buckle mechanism beneath: the object’s mechanical heart.
How not to let 60.66 carats overpower
Against the backdrop of the red gold belt buckle, the cognac diamond appears low-key, almost camouflaged, in fact. When I first heard of this new Roland Iten project, I could hardly help thinking that it was going to appear flashy, blingy, or perhaps too ostentatious for its own good.
Imagine my immense surprise upon spying it for the first time at finding it exudes a more low-key pizzazz. “That is really wearable,” was my instant thought.
“The stone’s color, it’s really cognac. And, oh god, I love cognac, especially Louis XIII,” Iten laughed before turning back to explaining the reason for using red gold for the majority of the buckle frame. “I actually wanted it to blend with the stone,” he revealed.
The gorgeous sheen of the 18-karat red gold chassis complements the cognac hue of the diamond in harmonious discretion, while the easily adjustable mechanical buckle offers optimal comfort whether sitting, standing, or even playing sports – like every buckle that Roland Iten makes.
The Diablo and the red gold are joined and supported by a titanium frame, which includes titanium axes and wheels that allow the mechanics of the buckle’s calibration to function without any sort of lubrication. (It is only logical to not lubricate something that is designed to be worn!)
It is relatively hard to believe, but seeing is believing: this scintillating, ingenious mechanical luxury is not for women, although there is no law stopping a woman from wearing a man’s belt buckle if she so desires.
“We’ve changed everything about the way large precious stones are presented, the way that they are worn, and the way that they can be appreciated,” Iten smiles, knowing he hasn’t actually changed anything at all about the Diablo diamond, but rather everything about the way that significant gemstones might be perceived and worn from here on out – totally in line with the modern feel for luxury.
“I can wear this and play golf. Or go fishing. And I think this is the total beauty about it,” Iten sums up.
For more information, please visit www.rolanditen.com.
For more on Ronald Iten’s mechanical masterpieces, please see Photo Essay: Making Of The R822 Predator By Roland Iten, The World’s Most Expensive Belt Buckle and A Tale Of Belt Buckles Starring Sylvester Stallone, Roland Iten . . . And Me.
Diamond: modified kite-shaped brilliant-cut cognac fancy diamond
Diamond weight: 60.66 carats
Diamond measurements: 39.28 x 29.13 x 7.05 mm
Diamond clarity grade: VS2, Type IIa
Diamond grading report: GIA and Christian Dunaigre reports to accompany
Mechanical caliber: R60, red gold and titanium, 22 mm expansion width
Limitation: one single very unique piece
Price: Roland Iten is not releasing the asking price of this priceless item, but one can expect it to be in the several million-dollar range