According to one expert, they may already be on the black market.
“What happens next is that these thieves will bring the diamonds and jewelry to somebody they already have lined up before they did this job – a fence,” according to jewelry theft expert and co-author of Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History, Scott Selby. “What happens after that is the fence will take apart this jewelry, so that loses value – and now you have all these separate stones.”
Selby is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School and also has a master’s degree in Human Rights and Intellectual Property Law from Sweden’s Lund University, where he wrote his thesis on diamonds. He is licensed to practice law in California and New York.
The jewelry is recognizable, you can’t sell them,” he adds. “So, you take it apart, melt down any precious metals, any medium to small stones… the fence will know somebody in the industry who will buy them at a discount [on the Black Market]. That person will then sell them on and nobody will be able to tell that they’re stolen, only the initial buyer would know something is wrong.”
Selby goes on to say that 80 percent of of the small to medium diamonds (by value) in the diamond trade wind up making their way over to Antwerp’s diamond district in Belgium within weeks.
“Diamonds like that change hands, five times in two days in Antwerp’s diamond district,” Selby says. “Nobody will ever know… They will be on the fingers of Americans within six months to a year.”
What happens to the larger stones that were stolen?
“You have three choices,” he says. “You could either hold on to it, you can sell it to a buyer who is fine with it being stolen – which is very hard to find, or you can change the stones to make them unrecognizable. Anybody in the trade would be able to tell that these were Kim Kardashian’s diamonds.”
“You can either break the diamond into smaller diamonds, or you simply polish the diamond a bit to change the characteristics of it. They lose value, but gain anonymity,” Selby adds. “You can stash the diamond, or somehow find a buyer who is happy to have a giant diamond that they need to keep secret and don’t have title to… the last is very unlikely.”
Is Kardashian West, 35, likely to get any of her precious jewelry back?
“Highly unlikely,” says the author. “It’s next to impossible to make the recovery. Even if you catch the people, the jewels are already gone.”
Early Monday morning, the star of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was tied up and robbed of $10 million in jewelry by armed masked men dressed as police in her room at No Address Hotel. She is now safely back in New York City where she was reunited with her family and friends.