On May 11 a 228.31 carat diamond discovered in South Africa more than 20 years ago, will become the largest white diamond ever sold at auction, according to auction house Christie’s, with a presale estimate between $20 and $30 million.
Simply known as “The Rock,” the historic diamond was fashioned into a pear shape shortly after its original extraction. Finishing as a pear shape with G color, thus technically falling into the near-colorless category, and very slightly included (VS1) clarity, a high grade with no visible imperfections, the billions-year old crystal, transformed into a sparkling finished gemstone two decades ago, is expected to capture worldwide attention. According to Christie’s international head of jewelry, Rahul Kadakia:
The Rock will join the very best of legendary gemstones which have passed through Christie’s global salerooms since 1766. The market for diamonds is particularly vibrant and we are confident that this sensational gemstone will capture the attention of collectors across the globe this spring season.
The largest white diamond previously sold by Christie’s weighed 163.41 carats. When the gavel fell in November, 2017, it brought in nearly $34 million. Given its extremely rare size, Kadakia believes it’s possible that “The Rock” will sell for even more.
Honestly, the stone has no price… Let’s say you have five collectors trying to buy the stone, and the day after the sale and one of those clients that didn’t buy it comes back and says, ‘Look, buyer’s remorse. Can you find me another stone?’ It took us 256 years to find one. Where is the other stone? I don’t know. That’s what’s rare about it.
The March to Auction
The Rock will be displayed at Christie’s Dubai from March 26-29, after which it will pass through Taipei and New York, April 29 to May 1. It will be exhibited to the public during Christie’s Luxury Week at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva from May 6 to 11.