Swiss jeweler De Grisogono have unveiled the largest D color Flawless diamond to ever to be offered at an auction. The 163.41 carat emerald cut diamond was hunted by Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International head of jewelry when it was still a 404 carat rough diamond being sold by diamond mining company Lucapa Diamonds in 2016. The enormous De Grisogono polished gem has been set in a magnificent piece of jewelry and will attract the buyer who wishes to own the largest colorless flawless diamond ever offered at auction.
The 163.41 carat D color Flawless emerald cut diamond set in an emerald and emerald cut diamond necklace
Image credit: Christie’s
The Diamond’s Journey
It all started back on February 15, 2016 when mining company Lucapa Diamonds announced that found the largest diamond ever unearthed in Angola at that time. It weighed 404.2 carats and was approximately the length of a credit card. It was also the 27th largest diamond ever discovered at that time. When it was analyzed by Yehuda, a New York based company on 47th Street and 5th Avenue, it was confirmed that it was a type IIA and D color diamond, making it extremely rare and colorless. Lucapa estimated it to be worth $14-$20 million in the rough.
The 404 carat D color diamond in its rough state Image credit: Christie’s
On May 8, 2016, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of DMCC and Chair of the Kimberley Process, and Founder and Executive Board Member of de Grisogono, Fawaz Gruosi, made a joint press conference to announce the acquisition of the 404.2 carat diamond by de Grisogono. It is rumored that de Grisogono paid $16-$18 million for the rights to cut it. (Lucapa sold it to Nemesis International of the UAE at that price, we are not sure what commission was paid by de Grisogono for the rights, so this value is an approximation.)
From left to right: Ahmed Bin Sulayem and Fawaz Gruosi announcing the acquisition of the 404 carat rough Lucapa diamond
On September 27, 2016 an announcement was made to unveil the end result of the cutting and polishing of the rough diamond. Fawaz ended up cutting the rough diamond into an emerald cut, keeping with the form of the rough to maximize the diamond’s yield. It ended up as a 163.41 carat D color Flawless clarity Type IIA diamond.
The 163.41 carat D color Flawless emerald cut diamond Image credit: Christie’s
In February 2017, the diamond was revealed as the star of a necklace with emeralds and emerald cut diamonds. It has been displayed as part of an exhibition named: “The Art of de Grisogono”, a joint effort with Christie’s Auction House. The exhibition will be open until October 1, 2017 in Hong Kong, and then will travel to London, Dubai, New York and finally to Geneva, right before it is offered for sale during the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction on November 14, 2017.
The Value Extrapolation
There is no one way to evaluate such a diamond as there is no price history for diamonds of this caliber from which to extrapolate. One thing is for certain, which is that it will be sold for a very high number at auction. There are several elements that can contribute to our estimate for its final cost.
The diamond is the largest ever Flawless diamond to be offered at auction. Flawless is the highest clarity grade that is possible in the diamond world, and this fact is very contributive when it is combined with the characteristics of the highest color rating possible and its large size. At 163.41 carats, the de Grisogono diamond is 38% larger than the next largest ever Flawless diamond ever auctioned, the 118.28 carat D color Flawless oval shaped diamond sold by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong back on October 7, 2013. That diamond weighed 299 carats in its rough state. Back then, the oval diamond was the largest ever Flawless diamond to ever be offered at auction. It also sold for a record price (at that time) of $30.78 million total, or about $260k per carat. It was estimated to sell at a price between $28 million – $35 million by Sotheby’s. If the 163.41 diamond sells for this value per carat, it would have a total value of $42.5 million.
The 118.28 carat D color Flawless oval shaped diamond Image credit: Sotheby’s
The previous largest ever emerald shaped colorless diamond to ever sell at auction was the 100.20 carat D color Internally Flawless diamond that was sold by Sotheby’s in 2015. It was valued at $19 million – $25 million and ended up selling for $22.09 million, or $220k per carat, at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on April 21, 2015. If the 163.41 carat diamond sells for this per carat value, it puts it at a total of $36 million.
The 100.20 carat D color Internally Flawless emerald cut diamond Image credit: Sotheby’s
It is important to note that the per carat price paid on the 100.20 carat emerald cut diamond is significantly lower than the price per carat paid for the 118.28 carat oval shaped diamond. This is because the emerald cut one was Internally Flawless, and although rare, it is still significantly less rare than a Flawless one. Also, the oval diamond was classified as a 3X, none (Clarity Grade, Polish, Symmetry, Fluorescence) while the emerald cut diamond was Very Good, Good, None. Those factors are very important in colorless diamonds.
If the highest value for the oval diamond was $35 million ($296k per carat) and the lowest $28 million ($237k per carat), this would put the 163.41 carat at a range value of $38.7 million to $48.4 million. There should be a premium for the fact that we have provenance on the piece, and the fact that it is designed and mounted by a world class brand. Thus I would put the final price estimate between $40 million – $50 million. In the case of the oval shaped diamond, it was sold at a price that was 10% above the lowest estimate, while the emerald cut diamond was sold at a price that was 16% above the lowest estimate. Based on this, the 163.41 carat should sell at a price between $44 million – $46.5 million total, or $269k to $306k per carat. However, we also know that the colorless diamond market has been slow for the last few years. Will that have an effect on a one of a kind diamond? Not at all.
After all this, the bigger question remains; What will de Grisogono do with the 813 carat rough named “The Constellation”, he acquired for the sum of $63 million (also acquired from Nemesis International in the UAE). It is more than twice the size of the 404.20 carat…
Anything can happen before the auction in November. Will a special diamantaire or private buyer buy the 163.41 carat diamond beforehand? Will the diamond set a record price for colorless flawless diamonds? Venture with us in the comments!
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