Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Giant diamond in necklace sells for $33.7M at Geneva auction

Giant diamond in necklace sells for $33.7M at Geneva auction

The largest diamond ever offered at auction went under the hammer in Geneva Tuesday evening for almost $34 million, a world record for a gem of its kind, the Christie´s auction house said.

In a design typical of de Grisogono's bold, highly contemporary aesthetic, the diamond was artfully combined with rows of pear-shaped emeralds and baguette-cut diamonds - and the end result garnered an impressive 33.5 million francs, setting a new world auction record. D, according to gemologists, is the highest colour grade given to diamonds and indicates that the precious stone is absolutely colourless and therefore rare. It was the final lot of the auction and sold for $14,463,393. The item is expected to fetch at least $30m (£23m) at auction.

"I am disappointed that the Art of de Grisogono didn´t sell for a more dazzling price", said Tobias Kormind, head of 77 Diamonds, a large European online diamond jeweller, who had said before the sale he thought the price might top $50 million.

The diamond itself was cut from a 404 carat rough rock which was found in February of 2016 in Angloa's Lulo mines.

It was the largest flawless D-color diamond ever to come to auction.

The rough diamond was 404.20 carats before it was cut. Christie's Images Ltd 2017
Image The rough diamond was 404.20 carats before it was cut. Pic Christie’s

"Le Grand Mazarin" which is named after Cardinal Mazarin, an Italian cardinal, diplomat, and politician, who served as the chief minister to the kings of France, Louis XIII and Louis XIV, from 1642 until his death.

Unsurprisingly it comes with a hefty price tag. Originally from the Golconda mines in India, the stone was set in the crowns of almost all kings and emperors of France since the early 18th century, Christie's said.

The diamond is said to have graced the crown of Napoleon I, Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie, among others, the Daily Mail reported.

The Geneva autumn auction season concludes on Wednesday, when Sotheby's will auction a pink diamond worth as much as US$30 million. This is the first time that the spectacular diamond has been sold at public auction since the famous sale of the French Crown Jewels in 1887.

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