The largest white diamond auctioned at 17.8 million euros

Auctioneer Rahul Kadakia, international director of Christie’s jewelry department, lowered his hammer to 18.6 million francs (17.8 million euros) after a few minutes of bidding, amid applause nonetheless, in a room full of a palace in Geneva.

I had to make sparks. But “The Rock”, a 228.31-carat white diamond, the largest ever sold at auction, sold 17.8 million euros on Thursday, less than it estimated and far from a record in its category. Auctioneer Rahul Kadakia, international director of Christie’s jewelry department, lowered his hammer to 18.6 million francs (17.8 million euros) after a few minutes of bidding, amid applause nonetheless, in a room full of a palace in Geneva.

The price of the hammer does not include the buyer’s premium (commission) that Christie’s had yet to reveal. It was estimated at between 20 and 30 million dollars (between 19 and 28.4 million euros). At 228.31 carats, the gemstone, whose seller is from North America but remains anonymous, had everything to seduce gemstone enthusiasts and investors.

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The diamond of the Red Cross

“It’s a truly exceptional pear-shaped diamond,” and “it’s perfectly symmetrical,” Max Fawcett, head of Christie’s jewelry department in Geneva, told AFP a few days before the sale. According to the expert, there is only “a handful” of such diamonds. The latest record for a similar white diamond (163.41 carats) brought the stone to $ 33.7 million (price including buyer’s premium), or $ 206,236 per carat, in a sale in November 2017 at Geneva. According to Christies, this was a record for all auction houses combined.

What happens after this announcement?

“The Rock” measures 3.1 cm wide by 5.4 cm long, is taller than a golf ball and also weighs 61.3 grams more than a tennis ball. It was extracted from a mine in South Africa in the early 2000s, and later sold by Christie’s as part of an over-the-counter sale to a private collector.

“The Rock” is not the only star of these auctions. Also offered is The Red Cross Diamond, a 205.07 carat canary yellow cushion-shaped diamond. The sale should be driven by the very particular context, at a time when the war in Ukraine is once again bleeding the Old Continent. “It is estimated at between 7 and 10 million Swiss francs. I hope it achieves fantastic results when it is sold. A large part of the proceeds from its sale will go to the International Committee of the Red Cross,” Fawcett said.

What happens after this announcement?

What happens after this announcement?

At this auspicious time in history, we honor the call that others have made before us

The original jewel was mined in 1901 at the South African mine of a De Beers company and is said to weigh about 375 carats, according to Christie’s. In addition to being ranked among the largest diamonds in the world, a striking feature of the stone is its pavilion, which has a natural Maltese cross-shaped facet. On April 10, 1918, the Diamond Syndicate offered the stone for sale for the first time at Christie’s in London, for the benefit of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. Malta).

At the time, the diamond had been sold for £ 10,000 (about £ 600,000 today, or over € 700,000). It was bought by the famous London jeweler SJ Phillips. On November 21, 1973, it was resold at Christie’s in Geneva for 1.8 million francs. Christie’s is now offered for the third time.

The seller wanted to remain anonymous but made this statement public: “For almost half a century our family has had the privilege of preserving the diamond of the Red Cross. (…) At this auspicious time of the history, we honor the call that other people have made to us. “

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