The largest white diamond ever auctioned in Geneva

The largest auctioned white diamond in history, Rock will be available in Geneva on May 11, 2022. Photo taken on May 6, 2022
The largest auctioned white diamond in history, Rock will be available in Geneva on May 11, 2022. Photo taken on May 6, 2022 (Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

The largest white diamond in history to be put up for auction will be offered in Geneva next Wednesday along with the historic Canary Yellow Diamond, and a portion of its proceeds will be sent to the Red Cross.

The 228.31 carat “The Rock” is the largest white diamond ever offered at auction. This is a truly outstanding pair-cut diamond, “department manager Max Faucet told Christie’s jewelry store AFP in Geneva.

The price of gems whose owners are from North America but remain anonymous can reach record highs.

“It’s perfectly symmetric. It’s estimated between $ 20 and $ 30 million, and I expect a bid explosion,” Faucette said.

According to experts, there are only a handful of diamonds of this kind. The last record Christie’s obtained for a similar white diamond (163.41 carats) brought the stone to $ 33.7 million during its sale in Geneva in November 2017.

Beyond the height of a golf ball, The Rock was extracted from a South African mine in the early 2000s and then sold by Christie’s on a voluntary sale by individual collectors.

Red cross diamond

Yellow diamond
The yellow diamond “Red Cross Diamond” will be auctioned in Geneva on May 11, 2022. Photo taken on May 6, 2022 (Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Bidder can also purchase the 205.07 carat cushioned canary yellow diamond “Red Cross Diamond” on Wednesday.

“It’s estimated to be CHF 7-10 million. We expect great results from the sale. Most of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross,” said Faucette.

According to Christie’s, the original gem was mined in 1901 at De Beers’ South African mine and weighed about 375 carats. Not only ranked as one of the largest diamonds in the world, but a distinguishing feature of this stone is the naturally shaped pavilion in the shape of the Maltese cross.

On April 10, 1918, the stone was first put up for sale by the Diamond Syndicate in Christie’s, London, to benefit the British Red Cross and the Order of the Holy Knights of Malta.

At that time, diamonds were priced at £ 10,000 (today about £ 600,000, or over € 700,000). It was purchased by the famous London jeweler SJ Phillips.

It was re-released on November 21, 1973 at Christie’s in Geneva for CHF1.8 million. This is the third offer from Christie’s.

The seller wanted to remain anonymous, but made the following statement: “For nearly half a century, our family had the privilege of holding Red Cross diamonds. (…) At this auspicious moment in history, we respect the calls made by others. Will be in front of us “.

Other Russian diamonds

The Firstenberg tiara will be available for sale in Geneva on May 11, 2022. Photo taken on May 6, 2022
The Furstenberg tiara will be available in Geneva on May 11, 2022. Photo taken on May 6, 2022 (Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Several other diamonds will be offered Wednesday, as well as a tiara owned by Princess Fürstenberg (1867-1948), one of the most important aristocratic families of the Habsburg empire. Its price is estimated to be between 400,000 and 600,000 francs.

“This year’s diamond market is very strong. The geopolitical situation is tough, there is inflationary pressure, and diamond prices haven’t been that high for seven to eight years,” explains Max Fawcett.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had a major impact on this market.

More than 40% of diamonds, including the Alrosa mine, are mined in Russia, but Russian gems are no longer available on the international market, he said.

Experts said the dispute “has a significant impact by causing significant price increases due to this strong limitation of supply in the current market.”

And he hopes that continued international sanctions on Russia will “continue to push prices up.”

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