Artist, Designer

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When I first met with John Nels Hatleberg, I wasn’t

quite sure if I was meeting a scientist, artist, technician,

or entrepreneur. On entering his home art studio, I was

struck by the ceramic floors, which he designed, as well as

the unusual works of art made from a variety of pearls and

precious gems. Our conversation, on the other hand, was

laced with the technical and scientific information essential

to the work of the world’s most famous diamond cutter. He

seemed so scientific and exact, attributes important to a gem

cutter and designer, with the eye of an artist and the sense of

a businessman.

John Hatleberg is known primarily as a conceptual artist

who creates, among other things, exact replicas of famous

diamonds. He has been invited by DeBeers, the Smithsonian

Institution, the British Museum of Natural History, the South

African government, and Dresden Vaults to work with their

diamonds. Prominent jewelers have also enlisted his talents,

including Robert Mouawad, Harry Winston, Cartier, and

Thomas Farber. He has consulted with officials at Tower of

London on the Kohinoor diamond in the permanent display,

“Crowns and Diamonds,” with Christie’s auction house for

the third edition of the book, Famous Diamonds, and on the

landmark “Diamantes” exhibition in Paris.