The largest ever white diamond in Geneva’s Christie’s sold for 21,681,000 CHF ($ 21.9 million) at auction.
The 228.31 carat pear-shaped gem – dubbed “The Rock” – originated in South Africa, where the world’s largest diamonds were found, including the pear-shaped “Star of Africa”. And a rose cushion kit. “Golden Jubilee.”
“The Rock” is about the size of a golf ball and was previously worn by its former owner as a stunning Cartier necklace. Along with the pear-shaped stone, the new owner will also receive a round diamond and platinum pendant from the French luxury brand.
Prior to the sale, Max Fossett, head of Christie’s jewelry department in Geneva, explained why “The Rock” is a particularly unique stone.
A 228.31 carat white diamond called “The Rock”. Credit: Dennis Balibous / Reuters
Despite its splendor, the price of “The Rock” hammer fell below its low estimate during the immediate bidding period on Wednesday. The auction house valued the diamond at 30,000,000 CHF ($ 30.2 million). In 2017, an intricate emerald and diamond necklace from the Swiss luxury jeweler de Gresogono, featuring a central 163.41 carat shiny rectangle, set a record for white diamond sales at 33,500,000 CHF ($ 33.8 million USD).
But other lots of sales of “Magnificent Jewels” broke expectations, including the 1940s pink sapphire, ruby and diamond brooch worn by Cartier, which sold for 579,600 CHF ($ 585,000) – a high estimate. 11 times more – and a 19% Diamond and Pearl Tire, which sold for more than three times its high estimate of 2,394,000 CHF ($ 2.4 million).
The last lot was a diamond almost as big as “The Rock” – 205.07 carat, yellow cushion shaped stone called “The Red Cross Diamond”. The gem sold for 14,181,250 CHF ($ 14.3 million), part of which will be donated to the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The first diamonds were sold at Christie’s to help the British Red Cross during World War I. According to Faust, the diamond was estimated to sell for between 7 7 million and 10 10 million.