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103ct. Flawless Diamond Fetches $20M at Christie’s

Jun 9, 2022 4:46 AM   By Rapaport News
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A diamond weighing more than 100 carats smashed its high estimate at Christie’s New York Wednesday, raking in $20 million.

The emerald-cut, 103.49-carat, D-flawless, type IIa Light of Africa was the star of the Magnificent Jewels auction, surpassing its $18 million presale upper price tag. The stone is the fifth most-valuable colorless diamond Christie’s has ever offered, it said Thursday. It was crafted by Dubai-based manufacturer Stargems, from a 299.3-carat rough unearthed at Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan mine in South Africa. Stargems bought the stone for $12.2 million in 2021.

In total, the sale garnered $48.9 million, with 95% of the items on offer finding buyers.

“The Magnificent Jewels auction...rounded off an incredible sale season with solid results worldwide,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewelry for Christie’s. “The 103.49-carat Light of Africa diamond achieved an incredible $195,000 per carat, demonstrating the strength of the diamond market at the highest levels.”

Another top performer was the estate of philanthropists Ann and Gordon Getty, bringing in $5.9 million, more than double its presale estimate. The offering included 12 jewels by JAR, one of the largest collections by the designer to appear at auction. The highest-value piece from that group was a multi-gem, diamond and lacquer “parrot tulip” brooch, which fetched $831,600 against an upper price tag of $300,000, while an agate, diamond and sapphire zebra brooch realized $554,400, nearly eight times its high estimate.

Other notable items included a necklace bearing a heart brilliant-cut, 76.46-carat, D-color, VVS2-clarity diamond with 46 smaller diamonds ranging from 0.46 to 3.03 carats. The piece sold for $4.9 million, within its estimate. A bracelet by Carvin French featuring different shades of pink and red diamonds as well as white stones, went for $2.7 million, beating its $2.5 million upper price. Meanwhile, a pear brilliant-cut, 20.23-carat, D-flawless diamond achieved $2 million, just over its high estimate.

Jewels from other private collections also performed well, including a selection of Bulgari jewelry from the collection of Italian actress Silvana Mangano and pieces from philanthropist, socialite and writer Brooke Astor.

Images: The Light of Africa diamond (top); the parrot tulip brooch by JAR (right). (Christie’s)
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Tags: Ann Getty, Brooke Astor, Bulgari, Carvin French, Christie’s, Christie’s New York, Cullinan Mine, diamonds, JAR, Jewelry, Light of Africa Diamond, Magnificent Jewels, New York Magnificent Jewels auction, Petra Diamonds, Rahul Kadakia, Rapaport News, Silvana Mangano, Stargems
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