SOTHEBY’S MAGNIFICENT JEWELS
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.)
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