By William Stolerman
This spring, Sotheby's Hong Kong will sell an exceptional and rare 5.16-carat, pear-shaped, internally flawless, fancy vivid, blue diamond from the legendary De Beers Millennium Jewels Collection.
Quek Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman and Head of the Jewellery Department, Sotheby’s Asia, said: “This season we are proud to present a superb 5.16-carat pear-shaped, internally flawless, fancy vivid, blue diamond from an important private collection, one of the 11 magnificent blue diamonds formerly in the legendary De Beers Millennium Jewels Collection. It is an unprecedented opportunity to acquire at auction a gem with this unique historical provenance.”
Formerly held in private collection, it is the first diamond from the Millennium collection to ever appear at auction. This phenomenal collection of 12 rare gems was presented by De Beers in 2000 to celebrate the new millennium. It took decades to assemble.
The collection consists of the Millennium Star (bottom) a 203.04-carat, D-colour, flawless white diamond (the centrepiece of the collection) and 11 phenomenal blue diamonds of various shapes and weights, totaling 118 carats.
Bearing the inscription "De Beers Millennium Jewel 11", this blue diamond will be auctioned at the Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale 2010, on April 7 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Blue diamonds are incredibly rare, a point illustrated by the results at the Premier Diamond Mine of Transvaal, South Africa. Despite it being the main source of blue diamonds in the world, of the all the rough diamonds extracted from the Premier Diamond Mine each year, only one significant blue diamond can be produced.
Added to that The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graded the jem as 'fancy vivid', the highest colour grading for coloured diamonds, so the value of this diamond is considerable.
It is estimated to sell for between HK$36-46 million ($4.6-5.8 million)