Egg-sized diamond fetches $31.5 million on auction in Geneva

An egg-sized white diamond called The Rock, billed as the largest of its kind to be auctioned, sold on Wednesday for more than 21.6 million Swiss francs ($31.5 million) .

The 228-carat pear-shaped G-color stone, with its platinum pendant setting, has a gross weight of 61.3 grams and dimensions of 5.4 centimeters by 3.1 centimeters, making it approximately about the size of an average chicken egg.

G-Colour is not the highest grade, but the fourth on the letter below premium D-Color diamonds.

The price, which includes costs, is considered to be at the low end of the expected range – the pre-auction estimate was between 19 and 30 million francs.

An unspecified private buyer acquired The Rock.

Max Fawcett, head of jewelry at Christie’s Geneva, hailed a successful sale in “uncharted territory” for a stone of its kind.

The “Red Cross” diamond, a 205.1-carat fancy yellow stone, was also put under the hammer on Wednesday, fetching nearly 14.2 million francs ($20.7 million), or twice the pre-sale estimate.

The “Red Cross”, a 205.07 carat cushion-shaped intense yellow fancy diamond and a 228.31 carat white diamond called “The Rock” are among the largest ever seen in the history of the auction market.(Reuters: Denis Balibouse)

The diamond was cut from rough stone excavated from the Griqualand mines in South Africa in the early 20th century and was first auctioned in 1918.

Mr Fawcett showed ‘enormous interest’ in the Red Cross diamond, saying an unspecified ‘seven-figure sum’ from the proceeds of the sale to an unspecified private buyer would be donated to the International Movement of the Red Cross, the Geneva-based humanitarian aid group.


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