Angola Diamond To Sell For USD30M

Wednesday, 15 Nov, 2017

The diamond, the centrepiece of an asymmetric gem-studded necklace designed by Fawaz Gruosi, founder of Geneva jeweller De Grisogono, exceeded the auction house's expectation of US$25 million.

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.

The hammer went down at 29.5 million Swiss francs ($29.7 million), excluding the buyer's premium - around the midpoint of the pre-sale estimates before the auction at Christie's in Geneva.

Australian diamond company Lucapa, which mined the stone originally measuring over 7 centimeters (2.7 inches) in length, says it was the largest diamond ever discovered in the African nation of Angola.

Unsurprisingly it comes with a hefty price tag.

And it graced the crown of Napoleon I, Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie, among others.

Tuesday's sale marked the first time the diamond appeared at auction in 130 years.

Christie's jewel auction, which raked in sales totalling 105.4 million Swiss francs, will be followed Wednesday by a similar auction at Sotheby's.

A flawless 163-carat clear diamond fetched about $US34 million ($49.4 million) at Christie's in Geneva.