Largest Diamond Ever Auctioned - Flawless 163-carat Diamond Fetches Record US$33.7m at Christie’s Geneva

Christie’s Geneva The Magnificent Jewels Sale achieved a total of CHF105,422,500 ( $106,070,751) on 14 November (Tuesday), led by The Art of de GRISOGONO, Creation 1.

The colourless diamond was made from a 404.2 carat rough stone - the largest rough white diamond ever found in Angola. It was brought to the Geneva headquarters of de GRISOGONO and was transformed into asymmetric necklace featuring 18 emerald-cut diamonds on one side, with the 163.41-carat diamond as the centrepiece.

It was the largest flawless D-colour diamond ever auctioned. D is the highest colour grade attributed to a diamond, indicating that the stone is completely colourless, and thus extremely rare.

The bidding started at CEF20m and the necklace was hammered down for CEF 29.5m. It was sold to a telephone bidder, who wished to remain anonymous, for CEF33.5m (US$33.7m) with buyer’s premium, setting a world record for any D-colour flawless diamond.

But some showed disappointment as they had expected the rare piece to fetch a higher price.

Tobias Kormind, head of 77 Diamonds

“I am disappointed that the Art of de Grisogono didn’t sell for a more dazzling price,” said Tobias Kormind, head of 77 Diamonds, a large European online diamond jeweller. "The diamond is over 40% larger than the 118.28 D Flawless oval sold by Sotheby's in 2013 for $30.6m and the price failed to reflect that comparison.

Le Grand Mazarin

Another highlight of the sale was a Le Grand Mazarin, a light pink diamond of 19.07 carats that once belonged to Louis XIV and Napoleon. It was the final lot of the auction and sold for CHF14,375,000 / $14,463,393.

Sale higlights

De Grisogono. A Sensational Diamond and Emerald Necklace.

Lot no.: 505
Carats: 163.41
Colour: D
Clarity: Flawless
Type: IIa
Sign/number: de Grisogono
Estimate On Request
Hammer price: CHF29,500,000
Price realized: CHF33,500,000 (US$33,705,994)

Le Grand Mazarin. An Historic Coloured Diamond.

Lot no.: 600
Carats: 19.07
Colour: light pink
Clarity: VS2
Type: IIa

  • Cardinal Mazarin (1602-1661)
  • Louis XIV, King of France (1638-1715)
  • Louis XV, King of France (1710-1774)
  • Louis XVI, King of France (1754-1793)
  • Napoleon I, Emperor of the French (1769-1821)
  • Marie-Louise of Austria, Empress of the French (1791-1847)
  • Louis XVIII, King of France (1755-1824)
  • Charles X, King of France (1757-1836)
  • Napoleon III, Emperor of the French (1808-1873)
  • Eugenie de Montijo, Empress of the French (1826-1920)
  • Frédéric Boucheron (1830-1902)
  • Baron von Derwies
  • Private collection

Estimate On Request
Price realized: CHF14,375,000 (US$14,463,393)

Auction summary

Auction house: Christie’s Geneva
Sale: Magnificent Jewels
Auction date: 2017/11/14
Sale total: CHF 105,422,500 ( US$106,070,751)
No. of lots: 298
Sold: 224
Sell-through rate: 75%

(All prices realized have included buyer’s premium unless otherwise specified)