Diamonds dominated the spring auctions this year and certainly show no signs of stopping. The newest specimen to heat up the news wire, a 122.52-carat rough blue diamond, will surely smash diamond records and send prices soaring when it sells later this year. The ‘exceptional’ stone is touted to be the most valuable diamond ever found.
Unearthed at the famed Cullinan Mine in South Africa by Petra Diamonds, the golf-ball sized stone is the largest diamond found there since 2008. Earlier this year in February, the London-based firm sold a 29.6-carat blue diamond for $25.6 ($864,864 per carat) million sourced from the same mine. Valuing the stone by the same standards as the one sold in February, this larger blue rough could sell for more than $33 million, but could be worth nearly $85 million once cut.
A spokesman for Petra said: “The rarity of a blue diamond of this magnitude sets it apart as a truly significant find.”
The highest price on record paid for a rough diamond was $35.3 million, set in February 2010 for a 507-carat white diamond that was also recovered from the Cullinan mine.
Last month, Christie’s auctioned a 13.22 carat, pear-shaped blue diamond for $24 million in Geneva, Switzerland. Renamed “The Winston Blue” after its buyer, it is is the largest flawless fancy vivid blue diamond to ever appear at auction. The previous record for a vivid blue diamond was the $15.7 million BVLGARI Blue, a two-stone fancy vivid blue triangular-cut diamond of 10.95 and 9.87 carats sold through Christie’s New York in Oct. 2010.
The most famous diamond produced by the Cullinan mine is the 1905 Cullinan Diamond at 3,106 carats, the largest rough gem diamond ever recovered. The celebrated stone has been cut into two stones – the First Star of Africa and the Second Star of Africa – and form part of Britain’s Crown Jewels held in the Tower of London. Other notable diamonds discovered at the mine are the 25.5 carat Cullinan blue diamond found in 2013 and sold for $16.9 million, and the Star of Josephine diamond found in 2008 and sold for $9.49 million.
Petra confirms the diamond would not be sold in the company’s current financial year ending June 30, so we will just have to wait until later this year for the sale of this extraordinary blue diamond.