A diamond weighing more than 100 carats smashed its high estimate at Christie’s New York Wednesday, raking in $20 million.
The emerald-cut, 103.49-carat, D-flawless, type IIa Light of Africa was the star of the Magnificent Jewels auction, surpassing its $18 million presale upper price tag. The stone is the fifth most-valuable colorless diamond Christie’s has ever offered, it said Thursday. It was crafted by Dubai-based manufacturer Stargems, from a 299.3-carat rough unearthed at Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan mine in South Africa. Stargems bought the stone for $12.2 million in 2021.
In total, the sale garnered $48.9 million, with 95% of the items on offer finding buyers.
“The Magnificent Jewels auction…rounded off an incredible sale season with solid results worldwide,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewelry for Christie’s. “The 103.49-carat Light of Africa diamond achieved an incredible $195,000 per carat, demonstrating the strength of the diamond market at the highest levels.”
he largest white diamond to ever come up for auction has been sold for $21.9 million USD at Christie’s in Geneva. The 228.31-carat, pear shaped gemstone dubbed “The Rock” originated from South Africa, where some of the largest diamonds in the world have been found, including the pear-shaped “Star of Africa” and rose cushion cut “Golden Jubilee.” “The Rock” is about the size of a golf ball and was previously worn as a lavish Cartier necklace by its former owner. Along with the pear-shaped stone, the new owner will also receive a round diamond and platinum pendant mounting from the French luxury brand. World’s largest blue diamond to come to auction has sold for $57.5 million Ahead of the sale, the head of Christie’s jewelry department in Geneva, Max Fawcett, explained why “The Rock” is a particularly unique stone. “Often with these largest stones, they sacrifice some of the shape in order to keep the weight,” he told Reuters. “This is a perfectly symmetrical pear-shape form and… one of the rarest gems ever to be sold at auction.”
Christie’s will offer a 103.49-carat diamond that could fetch up to $18 million at its upcoming New York sale.
The emerald-cut, D-Flawless, type IIa stone, called the Light of Africa diamond, will headline the auction house’s Magnificent Jewels sale on June 8, it said Monday. It will be among the items featured as part of Christie’s luxury week.
The diamond was cut from a 299.3-carat rough Petra Diamonds recovered from its Cullinan mine in South Africa in January 2021. Petra then sold the diamond to Dubai-based diamond-sourcing and supply company Stargems DMCC in March of that year for $12.18 million. It is the third-largest high-quality white diamond recovered from Cullinan since Petra acquired it in 2008, the miner noted.
Christie’s will preview the diamond in Geneva from May 6 to 11, followed by Hong Kong from May 22 to 24, before showing it in New York between June 3 and 7.
Two diamond bracelets belonging to Marie Antoinette more than doubled their high estimate at a recent Christie’s auction in Geneva.
The set, made by Boehmer in 1776 and passed down through Marie Antoinette’s family for 250 years, fetched $8.2 million at Tuesday’s Magnificent Jewels sale, Christie’s said. That figure is the second-highest price for a jewel owned by the French queen and the highest price ever garnered for one of her diamond pieces. In 2018, Sotheby’s sold a natural-pearl and diamond pendant belonging to Marie Antoinette for $36.2 million against its $2 million high estimate.
In total, the November 9 auction raked in $59 million, with 11 lots fetching more than $1 million.
Other notable items sold at the auction include a pear brilliant-cut, 55.50-carat, D-color, potentially internally flawless diamond, which went for $5.3 million, or $95,700 per carat, at the high end of its estimate. A cushion-shaped Burmese ruby and diamond brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels brought in $4.6 million at the auction, smashing its CHF 600,000 ($656,756) upper valuation.
An oval brilliant-cut, 43.19-carat, D-color, internally flawless diamond ring garnered $3.6 million, representing $83,000 per carat — within estimates. A rectangular-cut, 42.98-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow diamond fetched $3.1 million, in the middle of its presale valuation, while a fancy-light-pink and colorless diamond brooch by Harry Winston hammered for $2.3 million, just over its lower estimate.
However, a ring featuring a heart modified brilliant-cut, 6.75-carat, fancy-vivid-purple-pink, SI1-clarity diamond failed to find a buyer. The piece was estimated to bring in up to $10.9 million at the auction. A ruby bangle by Cartier, the first anniversary gift Wallis SImpson, the Duchess of Windsor, received from her husband, also remained unsold. That piece had a high valuation of $2.2 million.
In total, Christie’s sold 93% of items on offer, with bidders hailing from 32 countries.
“A very dynamic saleroom, coupled with strong online and telephone bids from around the world, resulted in lively bidding and a very high sell-through rate,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewelry at Christie’s. “Marie Antoinette’s diamonds captured the world’s attention and achieved a fitting result for such a magnificent royal jewel.”
wo splendid diamond bracelets that belonged to French queen Marie-Antoinette will go under the hammer in Geneva later this year, the auction house Christie’s said Wednesday.
The bracelets, coated with 112 diamonds in total, will be sold together and are estimated to fetch between $2-4 million when they go under the hammer on November 9.
That estimate “includes not only the intrinsic value of the diamonds, but also the possibility to wear jewellery that was once worn by the famous queen Marie-Antoinette,” Christie’s jewellery specialist Marie-Cecile Cisamolo told Agence France-Presse.
The historic jewels could meanwhile easily go for far more than the asking price.
“As seen in recent Geneva sales, the market for jewels of noble provenance continues to perform extremely well,” Francois Curiel, the chairperson of Christie’s luxury division, said in a statement.
In 2018, a natural pearl and diamond pendant that belonged to the ill-fated French queen was estimated by the Sotheby’s auction house at $1 million to $2 million but was snapped up for $36 million.
Marie-Antoinette, the last queen of France before the revolution, was guillotined in Paris in October 1793 at the age of 37.
But Cisamolo said that it was not just their history that made the bracelets extraordinary, pointing to the large size of the diamonds, which range from around 1 to 4 carats.
“It is very difficult to measure their exact size, because these are antique diamonds, and back then the sizes were less precise,” she explained.
While lacking the precision of today’s laser-cut gems, Cisamolo stressed the charm and uniqueness of antique diamonds.
In total, Christie’s estimates that the bracelets comprise 140 to 150 carats.
They are each composed of three rows of gems and can be connected together and worn as a necklace.
Paris, Brussels and Vienna
According to Christie’s Marie-Antoinette ordered the bracelets from jeweller Charles August Boehmer in Paris in 1776, two years after she ascended the throne.
She paid 250,000 livres, “a huge sum at the time,” Christies said.
Then the revolution arrived.
Before attempting to flee France with king Louis XVI and their children, Marie-Antoinette first made sure her jewels were sent out of the country.
They were sent to Brussels, governed by her sister Archduchess Marie-Christine, before being sent on to the French queen’s native Austria, ruled by her nephew, the emperor.
In 1792, the royal family was imprisoned in Paris. The king and queen were executed the next year, and their 10-year-old son Louis XVII died in captivity.
Only their daughter, Marie Therese of France, survived. She was freed in December 1795 and sent to Austria, where she was given her mother’s jewels.
“These jewels can thus be traced all the way back to Marie-Antoinette,” Cisamolo said, adding that she hoped whoever bought them “will cherish them for the rest of their life.”
“Not only are you wearing something that Marie-Antoinette wore,” she said. “The diamonds are extraordinary.”
The bracelets, she said, showing off the gems glistening on her wrists, “flow. It is as though you are wearing fabric.”
The 54.03-carat Chrysler Diamond necklace was among the top sellers at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in New York, bringing in $5.1 million.
The pear-shaped, D-color, internally flawless stone was originally purchased by Harry Winston in 1958 from the estate of Thelma Chrysler Foy, the daughter of railroad and automotive executive Walter Chrysler. The necklace beat its high estimate of $4.5 million at the June 8 auction, which garnered $26.6 million in total, Christie’s said Tuesday.
Also headlining the sale was the Dancing Sun, a cushion modified brilliant-cut, 204.36-carat, fancy-intense-yellow, VVS2-clarity diamond, the largest originating in North America. The stone sold for $5 million, near the upper end of its valuation.
The Flawless Match, a ring featuring a pear-shaped, 2.52-carat, fancy-vivid-blue diamond and a pear-shaped, 2.43-carat, D-color, internally flawless, type IIa diamond, fetched $2.9 million, within its estimate. Meanwhile, a collection of 19 jewels by JAR, the largest selection of the designer’s pieces offered at auction, went for a total of $5.9 million. That set was led by a diamond bracelet called Branch Under Snow, which achieved $1.9 million, more than three times its high estimate.
The auction house sold 87% of items at the event. Before the live sale, it also held a Jewels Online auction that raked in $3.5 million, with 97% of lots finding buyers.
A 204.36 carat fancy yellow diamond hits the block at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction on June 8 in New York City. The Dancing Sun, with an estimate of $3.5 million to $5.5 million, is the largest polished diamond ever mined in North America.
It was cut from a piece of rough weighing 552.74 carats. Six smaller diamonds were cut from the same rough, ranging from 14.52 to 1.06 carats, and are also included in the sale. All six are set into rings. The rough diamond came from the Diavik Diamond Mine, the second to open following the great Canadian diamond rush of the 1990s.
The previous record for the largest known gem quality rough ever mined in North America was the 187.66 carat Foxfire rough, also mined at Diavik. It was cut into several gems, including a pair of pear shapes weighing 37.87 and 36.80 carats, auctioned at Christie’s New York in December 2018 for $1.5 million.
The Sakura ring was the star at Christie’s Hong Kong, setting a world-record auction price for a purple-pink diamond.
The cushion-cut, 15.81-carat, fancy-vivid, internally flawless stone sold within its estimate for $29.3 million, or $1.9 million per carat, at the May 23 Magnificent Jewels auction, Christie’s said Sunday. The piece, purchased by a private Asian buyer, was also the most valuable jewel sold at auction so far this year. Overall, the Hong Kong sale raked in $76.8 million, the auction house’s highest total for a jewelry auction in four years.
“We are very excited to have marked another important chapter in jewelry-auction history today, with The Sakura realizing a record-breaking price,” said Vickie Sek, chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific jewelry department. “The strong sell-through rates and exceptional prices achieved for top-quality colored diamonds and gemstones reflect a robust market demand.”
However, even with the record pricing, the pink diamond still fell short of its $38 million high estimate.
“I would not consider this to be at the lower end of the market price, but there was room for it to go [further] if the current economic stability and situation was better,” Harsh Maheshwari, executive director of colored-diamond dealer Kunming Diamonds, told Rapaport News. “Post-Covid-19, if a similar item were to be auctioned, it would possibly touch, or break, the higher end of the estimated price.”
Meanwhile, The Sweet Heart, a heart-shaped, 4.19-carat, fancy-vivid-pink diamond ring, brought in $6.6 million, or $1.6 million per carat, within its presale valuation.
Other notable items include a necklace with a 50.05-carat, D-flawless, type IIa briolette diamond pendant, which garnered $2.7 million. That price, which comes to $53,399 per carat, was just above its low estimate. A square emerald-cut, 31.17-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow, VS2-clarity diamond ring went for $2.2 million, smashing its high estimate, as did a Cartier necklace with diamonds and five Colombian emeralds weighing a total of 16.43 carats, which achieved $2.1 million.
Overall, Christie’s sold 82% of items on offer at the auction.
Alrosa Spectacle, a 100.94 carat diamond that is thought to be the largest ever cut in Russia, will be auctioned in Geneva later this month.
The diamond could fetch between 12 million and 18 million Swiss francs ($13.32 million – $19.96 million) when it goes under the hammer at Christie’s May 12.
“This fantastic 100 carat D color diamond was cut from a rough stone that originally weighed more than 200 carats. It was called the Sergei Diaghilev rough diamond and it was mined in 2016,” Marie-Cecile Cisamolo, a specialist in the auction house’s jewelry department, said.
“Between the rough and diamond that we’re offering today, it took one year and eight months to cut into this perfect stone.”
The diamond is one of 144 lots on offer in the sale, which also includes rings, earrings, brooches and other pieces made with diamonds, sapphires and rubies.
A fancy-intense-pink diamond ring with a high estimate of CHF 11 million ($12 million) is set to feature in the Magnificent Jewels sale at Christie’s Geneva.
The oval-shaped, 15.23-carat piece, surrounded by diamonds, will be offered alongside the 100.94-carat Alrosa Spectacle diamond at the May 12 auction, Christie’s said last week.
Other notable items include a heart-shaped, 53.33-carat, D-color, VVS1-clarity, type IIa diamond pendant with a high valuation of CHF 3 million ($3.3 million). A pear-shaped, 141.22-carat, fancy-brown-yellow diamond set in a diamond necklace is also on offer, carrying a high estimate of CHF 2.8 million ($3.1 million).
Meanwhile, a ring featuring a 47-carat, cushion-shaped old mine Colombian emerald surrounded by diamonds will go under the hammer. The jewel, which is from an important private collection, carries a high presale estimate of CHF 1.6 million ($1.7 million).
Christie’s will also sell a rectangular cut-cornered, 8.06-carat, fancy-purplish-pink, VVS2-clarity diamond ring bracketed by tapered baguette-cut diamonds. The piece, created by Boucheron, has a high valuation of CHF 1.5 million ($1.6 million).
Christie’s will preview the items from May 8. The sale will also feature an online component, which will be open for bidding between April 29 and May 10.