163-carat Angolan diamond sells for $34m, still disappoints

Andrew Cummings
November 15, 2017

The 163.41-carat diamond, suspended from an emerald and diamond necklace called The Art of Grisogono, sold tonight to an anonymous telephone bidder at the Christie's autumn jewel auction in Geneva, Switzerland.

The flawless 163-carat clear diamond, the centrepiece of an asymmetric gem-studded necklace, was the largest of its kind ever auctioned. D, according to gemologists, is the highest colour grade given to diamonds and indicates that the precious stone is absolutely colourless and therefore rare.

The rough diamond was 404.20 carats before it was cut. Christie's Images Ltd 2017
Image The rough diamond was 404.20 carats before it was cut. Pic Christie’s

A team of 10 specialists in NY cut the jewel from a rough 404-carat stone discovered previous year in Angola, the biggest diamond ever found in that country.

To show the diamond at its best, a team of jewellers has worked for over a year, setting the stone into a necklace containing nearly 6,000 emeralds and over 800 smaller diamonds.

"Le Grand Mazarin", a 19 carats pink diamond, belonged to the French crown for more than 200 years and was part of its crown jewels.

It has since passed through the hands of famous French jeweller Frederic Boucheron and later the Baron von Derwies. It was the final lot of the auction and sold for $14,463,393.

The highlight of that show, also in Geneva, will be The Raj Pink, the world's largest known fancy intense pink diamond, which Sotheby's is aiming to sell for US$20-30 million.

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