The Ponahalo Diamonds, two diamonds weighing 102.11 cts. and 70.87 cts., cut from a rough diamond of 316.15 cts., sold at auction for $4.1 million and $2.15 million at Christie’s, New York Wednesday.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Ponahalo Diamonds will be donated to the Diamond Empowerment Fund, a non-profit co-founded by Russell Simmons, the auction house said in a statement. The diamonds highlighted Christie’s Jewels: The New York Sale and Superb 20th Century Jewels from an American Collection, which totaled $29.4 million.
The Steinmetz Diamond Group was given the job of cutting the 316.15 rough into two finished diamonds. It took 18 months to shape the diamonds.
Both diamonds are inscribed with the Forevermark icon and a Forevermark identification number. Chosen by Steinmetz, the inscriptions are prefixed with 316 (the carat weight of the original rough diamond from which both diamonds were cut) and follow with their carat weight—with the larger diamond is 316102 and the smaller is 316070.
Forevermark is a diamond brand from the De Beers family of companies.
The rough diamond was discovered in 2005, the largest ever to emerge from the De Beers Venetia mine. Following the tradition of naming very special diamonds, the name Ponahalo was given by Jonathan Oppenheimer, head of the Chairman’s Office De Beers Group. In Sotho, the tribal language spoken by the Venda tribe in the area of South Africa where the gem was mined, Ponahalo translates as “vision.”
Other notable sales at the auction included:
* A rectangular-cut fancy intense blue diamond of 7.02cts for $3.6 million;
* A pear-shaped fancy intense purplish pink diamond ring of 5.6 cts. for $2.7 million;
* A rectangular-cut D color, potentially flawless diamond of 16.05 cts. for $2.1 million.