The Most Expensive Prayer Rug Weaving Art and Precious Stones Together

The Most Expensive Prayer Rug Weaving Art and Precious Stones Together

Thursday, 19 August 2010 10:47 by Roe Kalb

A sepcial post written by Iris Hortman, IDI's information officer. 

Art and precious stones come together in this 15.90 kg prayer rug woven from 18k yellow gold and set with 27,104 gemstones.

Muslim Prayer Rug

Owned by Kathryn Bonnano, the rug was created in France over the course of a decade, from 1980-1990 and boasts dimensions of slightly more than a meter by 60 cm. The rug includes 1,242 diamonds, 4,580 emeralds, 1,888 rubies, 8,428 blue sapphires, 12,988 pink sapphires, and 9,668 yellow sapphires. All told, the rug contains a total of 14,000 carats of precious stones.

For five years, gemstones from all over the world were gathered, polished, and cut to fit the rug's design. It took another five years to complete the complicated setting process, which required the highest expertise to place the gemstones in their exact places in the design. In addition, the rug's surface had to be smooth and the stones were accordingly adjusted to give the rug a coherent look and pleasant feel.

Gemstone Rug

All the gemstones set in the rug are oval-shaped and measure 6 X 4 cm. The brilliant cut diamonds were set using prongs, a method common in bracelets. Tassels of gold chain were also created for the rug.

After its completion, the prayer rug was sent to the Gubelin Gem Lab in Switzerland to be inspected and certified, where a random one percent of the stones in the rug were analyzed. The gemological analysis required special preparation and the microscope that was used was assembled on a metal rod that could move over the various parts of the rug, while another rod held the rug up from below.


Prayer rugs are widely used in Muslim Asia and the Middle East. While decorative traditions vary from place to place, prayer rugs usually feature a central decorative motif surrounded by a smaller, repeating decorative theme. This bejeweled prayer rug features a diamond shape with a large flower depicted in the middle. At each corner sits a smaller diamond and flower.

The central diamond is bordered by inverted red triangles on a green border and a pattern of sideways S's.

Photo credit: Gubelin Gem Lab

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Categories:   Design | Diamond Industry | Israel Diamond Portal | Jewelry | Most Expensive
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