The 228.31-carat stone, dubbed the ‘The Rock’, will be auctioned by Christie’s in Geneva on May 11.
The biggest white diamond ever to be sold at auction, dubbed “The Rock”, will go under the hammer in Geneva on Wednesday and could fetch up to $30 million — or more.
The 228.31-carat stone is up for grabs alongside a historic intense yellow diamond associated for more than a century with the Red Cross, which will receive some of the profits from its sale.
The Rock is “a truly exceptional pear-shaped diamond”, said Max Fawcett, head of the jewels department at Christie’s auction house in Geneva.
It is “the largest white diamond ever to be offered at auction”, he told AFP at a preview on Friday.
The Rock is currently in the hands of an unnamed owner from North America.
It could even break records when it goes under the hammer.
“It’s perfectly symmetrical and is estimated at $20 to $30 million — and I expect there be fireworks on Wednesday,” Fawcett said.
The equivalent in euros is 19 to 28 million.
The expert said that there were only a handful of diamonds of similar size and quality to The Rock. The Christie’s record for a similar white diamond is $33.7 million, fetched in Geneva in 2017 for a 163.41-carat gem.
Larger than a golf ball, The Rock was extracted from a mine in South Africa in the early 2000s. It has been shown in Dubai, Taipei and New York ahead of the sale in Geneva.
Red Cross gem
Bidders will also be vying for The Red Cross Diamond, a cushion-shaped, 205.07-carat canary yellow jewel, which has a price estimate of seven to 10 million Swiss francs ($7.09 to $10.13 million).
“I expect that it will achieve much more on the day of sale,” said Fawcett.
A large chunk of the proceeds will be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is headquartered in Geneva.
The original rough stone was found in 1901 in a De Beers company mine in South Africa and is said to have weighed around 375 carats.