A 228.31-carat pear-shaped white diamond, dubbed ‘The Rock’, is expected to fetch around $US30 million ($AU40.50 million) at Christie’s Luxury Week tender in Geneva on 11 May.
‘The Rock’ is considered to be the largest polished white diamond ever to hit the auction block and is expected to break the record for the largest auctioned white diamond held by a 163.41-carat stone sold by Christie’s Geneva in 2017.
The egg-sized diamond is on display at Christie’s Dubai from 26 to 29 March, then heads off to Taipei and New York, before stopping in Geneva where it will be auctioned.
Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewellery at Christie’s, told Bloomberg there is currently a “great appetite in the market for diamonds.”
“The Rock will join the very best of legendary gemstones which have passed through Christie’s global salerooms since 1766,” Kadakia added.
The gemstone, mined and polished in South Africa 20 years ago, has been graded as G colour or “near colourless” with VS1 clarity by the Gemmological Institute of America and was sold to a private collector who held on to the stone for the last two decades.
Kadakia noted that the diamond’s owner approached the auction house to market the diamond after seeing a huge demand worldwide after the heightened COVID19-related lockdowns and travel restrictions were lifted.