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World’s rarest diamond goes on sale at Sotheby’s

World’s rarest diamond goes on sale at Sotheby’s

21 April 2015 | 10am EDT | NEW YORK

Sotheby’s are calling it The Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond. Well,  you’d expect them to speak highly of it. They’re hoping   to part someone from  $25 million for the pleasure of owning it.  This is small change   compared to the  $300 million paid  in February this year for Gauguin’s  Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) ,  and perhaps this is  because immensely rich people realise that gems are ultimately  baubles with no instrinsic value and any fool with enough money can own one, whereas a good painting will keep you warm forever.

Anyway, the stone in question is a mysterious 100-carat emerald-cut,  D colour, Internally Flawless diamond unlike any offered at auction before.  It is thought to have been found in  a De Beers mine in Angola  (or another West African location,  I  wasn’t interested enough to have  made a note of the place) and  thence travelled to Amsterdam, where it was cut from its original rough weight of 200 carats to the 100.2 carats of  masterly  precision we see here. Who owns it? Who cut it? Nobody knows, except presumably Sotheby’s and they are not saying.


Sotheby’s  New York saleroom will offer the   diamond at its April 21 Magnificent Jewels sale. Only   six  diamonds of over 100 carats and comparable-quality have ever been   sold at auction, and Sotheby’s estimate this one   will fetch   between $19 and $25 million.

The size and spectacle of this huge stone seem to have reduced Frank Everett, Sotheby’s vice president of sales for jewellery,  to a kind of breathless  babble.


Struggling for some way to describe the uniqueness and presence   of the gem, he told  the Observer.  “It could be considered a kind of object of art.  When you hold it in your hand it’s such a unique experience—–you can see the mastery of the cut and the entire geometry––the size is what makes it rare and beautiful.”  This, geometry aside, confirms  me in my  belief that the best that can be said of a stone like this is that it is rather   large and very shiny. (More about diamonds when I write  up  several years’ worth of  notes on  the Kohinoor.)