Top miner Alrosa to sell Russia’s LARGEST cut diamond as demand for gems back on sparkling form
Russia’s leading gem miner is to sell the largest colorless diamond ever produced in the country. The unique precious stone, weighing 100.94 carats, is predicted to fetch more than $19 million at Christie’s auction in Geneva.
The gem, aptly named the Spectacle, and part of a namesake collection, will be put on sale by the auction house on May 12, Alrosa announced earlier this week. It is described as a Type IIA, D Color internally flawless diamond. That means it is extremely rare – among only 1 to 2% of all earth-grown diamonds – and the purest diamond by color scale.
Christie’s expects the stone to fetch between $14 million and $19 million. An ultra-rare oval 14.83-carat pink diamond from the same collection was sold last year at Sotheby’s for $26.6 million, becoming the most expensive diamond in its color grade. Another item from the Spectacle collection, a 20.69-carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond named the Firebird, was acquired by luxury jewelry and gem brand Graff at the end of 2019, but the price of the deal was not revealed.
The Spectacle was polished from a 207.29-carat rough stone unearthed in 2016 in the Yakutia Republic in northeast Russia. It was one of the biggest discovered this century, according to Alrosa and took more than a year and a half to cut.
The auction comes as the demand for jewelry begins to recover from the coronavirus crisis. According to Alrosa’s first quarter results, diamond sales have risen 65% year-on-year, with seasonally high sales to the US and China coinciding with pent-up demand for engagement rings as a result of the pandemic. Alrosa said polished-diamond prices had already exceeded their pre-crisis levels, and expected demand for rough gems to remain sustainably high in all the key markets.
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