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A $30 Million Chicken Egg: Christie’s Brings White Diamond to Auction

There might be bigger stones out there, but none have hit the auction block—yet.

This pear-shaped diamond weighs 228 carats and measures 2 x 1.37 x 0.87 inches—about the size of an organic egg.

This pear-shaped diamond weighs 228 carats and measures 2 x 1.37 x 0.87 inches—about the size of an organic egg.

Source: Christie's

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?’”