The biggest white diamond ever to be sold at auction, dubbed ‘The Rock’, fetched un underwhelming R301 million in Geneva on Wednesday.
The 228.31-carat stone, slightly bigger than a gholf ball, was mined in South Africa about 20 years ago. It has been worn as a Cartier necklace and travelled around the world to be shown in Dubai, Taipei, and New York.
News24 reported that this sensational diamond was predicted to reach between $19 million and $30 million (R305 million and R481 million) at the Magnificent Jewels event, which was held on Wednesday afternoon at Christie’s auction house in Geneva. ‘The Rock’ was even promoted as the highlight of this prestigious event.
But the ultimate outcome did not live up to this hype. Bidding on the diamond started at CHF14 million (Swiss Francs) and quickly rose to CHF18 million. But when interest waned, the auctioneer started accepting smaller increments. Eventually the hammer came down and it sold to the highest bidder for a disappointing CHF18.6 million (Swiss Francs), which is approximately R301 million, as reported by Business Insider SA.
The record for the most expensive white diamond ever sold at auction currently still belongs to a 163.41-carat gem which was sold in 2017 by Christie’s for $33.7 million or R540 million.
This is also not the first notable South African diamond sold at auction in 2022: The 15.1-carat De Beers’ Cullinan blue diamond sold for HK$450.9 million (R911 million) at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in late April.
Picture: ‘The Rock’ / Christie’s