He had to make sparks. But “The Rock”, a 228.31-carat white diamond, the largest ever sold at auction, was sold on Wednesday May 11 for 17.8 million euros, less than its estimate and far from a record in its category. Auctioneer Rahul Kadakia, international director of the jewelery department at Christie’s, lowered his hammer to CHF 18.6 million (€17.8 million) after just a few minutes of bidding, to applause despite everything, in a packed room of a Geneva palace. The hammer price does not include the buyer’s premium (commission) which Christie’s was yet to disclose later. It was estimated between 20 and 30 million dollars (between 19 and 28.4 million euros).
With 228.31 carats, the gemstone, whose seller is from North America but who remains anonymous, had everything to seduce gemstone enthusiasts and investors. “It is a truly exceptional pear-shaped diamond” and “it is perfectly symmetrical,” Max Fawcett, head of the jewelry department at Christie’s in Geneva, told AFP a few days before the sale. According to the expert, there is only a “handful” of diamonds of this ilk.