On May 15, a spectacular 101.73 ct. D flawless diamond fetched an equally spectacular price at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva—$26.7 million, or $254,400 per carat, a new world record for a colorless diamond sold at auction.
The buyer was Harry Winston, in one of its first moves under new owner Swatch. The diamond will be named the “Winston Legacy,” in keeping with “the founder’s tradition of buying only the best,” says Christie’s international head of jewelry Francios Curiel. Swatch did not reply to a request for comment on its plans for the gem.
Other bidders were mostly from Asia, Curiel says, including one private collector.
The final price fell within the stone’s $20 million to $30 million estimate. Unlike most high-profile stones sold in the last few years at auction, the gem was discovered relatively recently in De Beers’ Jwaneng mine. It came from a 236 ct. block of rough that took 27 months to polish.
The 101-carater was not the only diamond to set a record at the sale: A 1.92-ct. fancy red sold for $3.2 million ($1.63 million a carat), setting a world auction price for a red diamond, well above its $1.9 million to $2.9 million estimate. The buyer was a member of the U.S. trade, the auction house said.
Also setting records:
- A single-strand natural pearl necklace measuring from 13.7 mm to 10.4 mm garnered $8.4 million, a world record for a single strand natural pearl necklace.
- The Star of Kashmir, a cushion-shaped 19.88 ct. sapphire sold for $3.4 million ($175,202 per carat), a world record per-carat price for a sapphire.
- A pair of drop-shaped natural pearl ear-pendants of 261.66 and 216.37 grains apiece sold for $2.4 million, a record price for a pair of pearl ear pendants.