In order to get rid of the highly publicised diamonds, the group will likely break them down into smaller gems
When the culprits who held reality TV star and pop culture icon Kim Kardashian at gunpoint in a luxury Paris residence in the early hours of Monday morning, they undoubtedly thought they’d made off with a haul worth millions and millions. But having stolen diamonds valued at €9m, jewellers are now claiming the thieves will likely have to slash the amount they can expect to get if they want to sell it on.
Dressed as police officers, the robbers entered the Paris apartment in which Kardashian had been staying, tying up the 35-year-old star and absconding with a ring worth €4m and a case of jewellery with a retail value of €5m. French police sources claimed that Kardashian was likely targeted by the thieves who saw photographs of her wearing the valuable jewels on social media accounts.
But according to the acting president of the French union of jewellers and watchmakers, the face value of the jewellery will have already “crashed.” Sandrine Marcot said she believed that due to the massive media interest in the story and the ensuing publicity surrounding the stolen goods, selling them on will prove difficult to the armed thieves. “Everyone knows that ring,” she said, “It won’t be easy to get rid of it.”
On Twitter last week, Kardashian posted an image of a large diamond ring on her left hand to her 48m followers, reportedly a 15-carat creation designed by Israeli jewellery designer Lorraine Schwartz. Believed to have been given to Kardashian by her husband, the rapper Kanye West, Sandrine Marcot said she suspected the jewels would have to be cut into smaller gems to hide where they had come from.
“These are not everyday jewels, these are unique pieces,” she said.
Luxury diamonds and precious stones are typically stamped with a unique laser mark, allowing them to be tracked as they move from owner to owner and jeweller to jeweller. The marks, which make them “extremely easy to trace” are often contained deep within in the stone, while others are hidden behind polishing and cutting tricks.
French police detectives have said that they suspect the robbers will be working with a number of middle persons, including skilled jewellers happy to look the other way when collecting a large fee for breaking down the large gems into far less showy stones. But sculpting down the large stone of the Kardashian ring could slice as much as three-quarters of its retail price from of what the thieves were hoping to get.
The robbers also need to know the diamond industry, as those without reliable connections to shady jewellers face a difficult task when it comes to cashing in on their heist. The gang of thieves that robbed €85m worth of jewels from the Harry Winston store in Paris in 2008 only managed to broker four deals worth €483,000 when trying to offload them.