Sat 07 May 2022:
The world’s largest white diamond will be auctioned next week in Geneva, as part of a Christie’s sale that includes two stones weighing more than 200 carats each.
“The Rock”, a 228.31 carat pear-shaped stone roughly the size of a golf ball, is expected to sell for up to $30 million, the auctioneer said.
“Often with these largest stones, they sacrifice some of the shape in order to keep the weight,” Max Fawcett, the head of Christie’s jewellery department in Geneva, told Reuters.
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“This is a perfectly symmetrical pear-shape form and …one of the rarest gems ever to be sold at auction.”
Diamond prices have been buoyed by sanctions on major producer Russia as well as the return of VIP events as pandemic restrictions unwind.
Mined in South Africa, “The Rock” was worn by its former owner as a Cartier necklace. The previous auction record for a white diamond was a 163.41 carat gem sold in 2017.
Because an unspecified amount of the auction revenues will go to the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross, Christie’s is also selling a 205.07 carat yellow cushion-shaped stone dubbed “The Red Cross Diamond” (ICRC).
Christie’s initially auctioned the diamond, which has a Maltese cross faceted base, in 1918 at a London auction when citizens donated valuable household objects to aid the war effort. The 10,000 pounds ($12,350) raised went to the British Red Cross Society.
According to an ICRC representative, a portion of the proceeds from the sale will go toward providing clean water to people affected by conflict this time.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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