Buyers shun biggest ‘perfect’ diamond ever sold

The largest single-crystal diamond ever offered on the world market failed to find a buyer on Thursday, with its French auctioneers blaming volatile global markets, Reuters reported.

The 179-carat diamond, The Vulcan, failed even to provoke interest at its opening price of 400,000 euros (U.S.$395,400), a third of the price the sellers had been hoping for, Reuters reported.

“The economic context is such that potential investors did not want to bid,” auctioneer Christophe Legrand told Reuters, adding some ten or so people had come forward for the auction.

Experts spent some 15 years chipping and polishing away at the black, pear-shaped gem, as big as a hen’s egg, which originally weighed more than 380 carats.

It has a rare purity. Most diamonds are composed of several crystals.

Jilted at the auction in Saint-Amand-Montrond, central France, The Vulcan will now return to its owner and is unlikely to come up for sale again for another decade, Legrand told Reuters.