The largest white diamond ever auctioned sold for a whopping $21.9 million at Christie’s annual Magnificent Jewels sale today.
The 228.31-carat masterpiece was sold to a person whom Christie’s refused to name or even cite where they live. One of the diamond’s three previous buyers was based in the US; the other two in the Middle East.
Mined in the early 2000s, The Rock was previously owned by a family of avid jewelry collectors, who transformed it into a necklace, and decided to sell the gem after eight years to invest in other stones for their collection, said Max Fawcett, a Christie’s jewelry specialist based in Geneva.
“This stone is the central marquee piece in any jewelry collection and stands above as one of the rarest gems on earth,” Fawcett said.
It may be one of the hardest stones to come by, but it didn’t sell for the amount expected. Back in mid-April, Christie’s was hoping to fetch well over $30 million for the diamond. But our post-pandemic times, when top society doyennes aren’t going out as much, might have been a factor in the reduced price.
After all, the diamond’s second owner “took The Rock to Cartier to have a necklace commissioned with it,” Fawcett said. “Unfortunately, when they sold the diamond to the new owners [who just sold it at auction today], they kept the necklace, and now, only the basket mounting remains.”
Christie’s, which has sold a number of record-breaking gems including a fancy blue diamond, first showed The Rock in New York and sent it on stops to Dubai and Taipei before selling it today in Geneva.
The famed 287.42-carat Tiffany diamond of 1877, which Lady Gaga wore to the 2019 Oscars, was discovered in mines not so far from the one where The Rock was dug up.