The rock, the largest white diamond ever sold at auction, sold for a hammer price of 18.6 million Swiss francs ($18.8 million) on Wednesday, well below the record for such a gem.
The 228.31 carat stone, larger than a golf ball, was sold in Geneva by Christie’s auction house.
There were high hopes that The Rock would break the world record for a white diamond, which stands at $33.7 million, brought in the Swiss city in 2017 for a 163.41 carat gem.
Bids, which started at 14 million francs, stopped two minutes later at 18.6 million francs, although the price will rise once taxes are added and the buyer’s premium is added.
The pre-sale estimate was between 19 and 30 million Swiss francs.
The rock, a symmetrical pear-shaped diamond, was once in the hands of an unknown North American owner. Purchased by a phone viewer after the procedure at Hotel des Bergues.
There have only been a few diamonds of the same size and quality as a rock, said Max Fawcett, head of jewelry at Christie’s auction house in Geneva.
The large diamond was mined in South Africa in the early 2000s and exhibited in Dubai, Taipei and New York before selling in Geneva.
red cross gem
Later sold at the superb gem auction is an intense historical yellow diamond that has been associated with the Red Cross for more than a century.
The Red Cross Diamond is a yellow, cushion-shaped, 205.07-carat canary gem with an estimated price of seven to 10 million Swiss francs ($7.09 to 10.13 million).
A large portion of the proceeds will be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is based in Geneva.
The original rough stone was found in 1901 at the De Beers mine in South Africa and is said to have weighed approximately 375 carats.
In addition to being ranked among the largest diamonds in the world, an amazing feature is its wing, which naturally bears the shape of a Maltese cross.
The stone was first offered for sale on April 10, 1918 at Christie’s in London. It was offered by the Diamond Guild to help the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John.
The diamonds fetched the Red Cross £10,000 – about £600,000 (US$740,000) in today’s money. It was purchased by London jeweler SJ Phillips.
It was sold again by Christie’s in Geneva in 1973, at a price of 1.8 million Swiss francs, and is now being offered by the auction house for the third time.
A tiara owned by Princess Irma of Fürstenberg (1867-1948), one of the most famous aristocratic families of the Habsburg Empire, is also sold.
It is estimated to go between 400,000 and 600,000 Swiss francs.
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