Weight: 39.34 carats D color, Internally Flawless, Type IIa
Where: Christie’s, New York Jewels–The New York Sale April 16, 2008
How Much: Pre-Sale Estimate:USD$6 million to USD$8 million
Final Selling Price: USD$6,873,000
An extremely rare diamond of 39.34 carats was the clear-cut winner at the Christie’s jewelry auction this week. The cushion-cut gem sold for $6,873,000 ($175,000 per carat) to a private collector from the Middle East.
A stunner in every way, the gem meets the criteria for a near-perfect stone. The sophistication of the stone is reserved for the finest diamonds, reminiscent of important stones found in the fabled mines of India’s Golconda region and several other mines in Brazil and South Africa.
The gem has perfect symmetry with a cut so precise it can stand completely balanced on its pointed end or cutlet. In addition, the diamond has no traces of colorant nitrogen, the characteristic that gives the stone such transparency and sparkle. Only 2% of all diamonds lack this chemical.
“The old-world charm of this beautiful gem, along with a softness to its cut and its superb brilliance, ranks it among some of the most sensational diamonds to have appeared for sale at Christie’s, such as the historical Polar Star, to [which] it bears a striking resemblance,” said Rahul Kadakia, head of Jewelry Americas at Christie’s.
The Polar Star diamond is one of the most famous diamonds in the world, having been owned by Russian royalty until its sale to the House of Cartier in the 1920s, and later selling at Christie’s Geneva in 1980 for $5.1 million, a huge sum at the time.
Christie’s sold $50 million worth of fine jewelry on April 16, making it the most valuable jewelry auction ever held in the U.S. Ten jewels sold for over $1 million each, and diamonds stole the show across the board.
The sale of this diamond bolstered overall confidence in the global trade for high-end gems. Last week, there was a moment of concern when Sotheby’s failed to sell a 75.22-carat, “D” flawless white diamond in Asia, though the gem was sold to a private buyer after the auction for an undisclosed sum. The pre-auction estimate was $10 million to $12 million, and the final price was likely not far off the asking price.
The next comparable diamond to hit the auction block is Christie’s 101-carat, near flawless, golf-ball-sized diamond, scheduled for sale in Hong Kong next month. The asking price will be around $6 million. There is every indication that the sale will be a success.
Last year, Sotheby’s sold a stunning 84-carat white diamond for $16.2 million to Guess! Jeans founder George Marciano, who named it the “Chloe Diamond” after his 12-year-old daughter.
The diamond was the second most expensive stone or piece of jewelry ever sold at auction, falling just short of the $16.5 million fetched by a 100-carat diamond at the same Sotheby’s
branch in Geneva in May 1995. Source : Nina West, Artfact.com/Forbes.com/Christies
Type of Diamonds
Natural diamonds are classified by the type and quantity of impurities found within them.
Type Ia – This is the most common type of natural diamond, containing up to 0.3% nitrogen.Clustered nitrogen atoms. Colourless to Yellow. 98% of all diamonds are Type Ia.
Type Ib – Very few natural diamonds are this type (~0.1%), but nearly all synthetic industrial diamonds are. Type Ib diamonds contain up to 500 ppm nitrogen. These diamonds about 0.1% prevalent.Isolated Nitrogen Atoms. Orange, Orange Yellow to Brown.Depending on the precise concentration and spread of the nitrogen atoms, these diamonds can appear deep yellow (“canary”), orange, brown or greenish.
Type IIa – This type is very rare in nature. Type IIa diamonds contain so little nitrogen that it isn’t readily detected using infrared or ultraviolet absorption methods. No specific colour centre.Yellow, Brown , Pink and Purple Type IIa diamonds have been documented. These diamonds are 1% to 2% prevalent.These diamonds can be considered as the “purest of the pure” – they contain no, or minuscule amounts of impurities, are usually colourless, highly transparent and can be a higher colour grade than D.Diamond Imports recently sold a round brilliant 1.36 carat D IF Ex/ Ex Type IIa.
Type IIb – This type is the rarest in nature. Type IIb diamonds contain no measurable amounts of nitrogen (even lower than type IIa) that the crystal is a p-type semiconductor.These diamonds contain no nitrogen – but they contain boron, which absorbs red, orange and yellow light. These diamonds therefore usually appear to be blue, although they can also be grey or nearly colorless. All naturally blue diamonds belong to Type IIb, which makes up 0.1% of all diamonds.
Cushion Cut Diamonds