The largest white diamond ever to come to auction will hit the block at Christie’s in Geneva on May 11. The 228-carat, pear-shaped diamond carries a presale estimate of $20 million to $30 million. The stone, which is about the size of a chicken’s egg, was mined about 20 years ago in South Africa but is only now coming up for public sale.
“Right now there is a great appetite in the market for diamonds,” says Rahul Kadakia, the international head of jewelry at Christie’s. The firm also brokered the gem’s initial private sale to a collector, who held on to it for most of the past two decades. “With the market the way it is—in 2021 there was a huge resurgence both in the art market and the jewelry market—the second owner approached us and said, ‘How would you feel about marketing this for us at public auction?’”