Christie’s Geneva will auction off a 228.31 carat pear-shaped diamond on May 11. The white gemstone – known as ‘The Rock’ – was mined and polished in South Africa over two decades ago.
The diamond is estimated to sell for between $20 to $30 million.
“This is really one of, not one of, it is the largest white diamond that’s ever come up for sale at auction,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewelry at Christie’s. “I’ve been here 25 years. Christie’s has been here 256 years. And in all this time, this is the largest stone in this shade that we have for sale.”
Another diamond from South Africa will feature at Christie’s auction
The May 11 auction will also feature another diamond mined in South Africa – this time, a yellow 205.07 carat diamond known as ‘The Red Cross Diamond’.
“So, quite unusual to have two 200-carat diamonds in one auction. The Red Cross Diamond weighs 205 carats, was mined in 1901, at the DeBeers mine also in South Africa and sold in 1918 at Christie’s London at the Red Cross auction during the war,” Kadakia said.
“The stone was offered for sale by the Diamond Syndicate. It achieved £10,000 ($12,500) when the entire auction achieved £50,000 ($62,500). It then came back for sale at Christie’s in Geneva, this time in 1973, where it achieved 1.8 million Swiss Francs ($1.8 million). And now, for the third time in 104 years, the Red Cross diamond will come up for sale again in Geneva on May the 11th.”
The fancy brilliant-cut diamond gets its yellow color from nitrogen atoms.
Its estimated selling price is between $7 to $10 million. Part of the proceeds from the sale will go to the International Red Cross.
Kadakia says he is optimistic about the upcoming auction.
“I think the current state of the stock market will give investors the opportunity to buy art and important diamonds as a hedge against what’s going on and hope for the prices to keep rising as they do for rare art and objects and perhaps offer them for sale at a different time. Who knows? Maybe we’ll sell these stones again in ten years from now,” he said.