Leading the upcoming Magnificent Jewels auction at Christie’s New York, the Cullinan Dream of 24.18 carats is the largest Fancy Intense Blue diamond to be offered at auction.
Drawn from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, formerly known as the Premier mine, the diamond is the largest of four blue diamonds cut from the 122.52 carat rough unearthed in 2014. The mine made history in 1905 when a 3,106.75 carat rough produced the Cullinan I (also known as the Star of Africa), the largest polished white diamond in existence. The Cullinan I is now housed in the Tower of London as part of the Crown Jewels of England. In recent years the legendary mine remains newsworthy as the source for some of the most significant pink and blue diamonds to come to market.
The combination of the weight, colour and Type IIb properties together make the Cullinan Dream a truly exceptional and rare diamond. Most fancy intense blue diamonds weigh less than a single carat as the grade calls for very strong colour and full saturation. At a weight of 24.18 carats, it is remarkable for the stone to display such a pure and consistently strong blue colour throughout every facet.
The Cullinan Dream’s classification as Type IIb makes it an even more rare find. Type IIb diamonds lack a symmetrical crystal form and account for less than one-half of one per cent of all diamonds found in nature. Due to its asymmetrical structure and the potential value to be realized from each polished carat yielded, the Cullinan Dream rough was studied for months. Only the exceptional skill and experience of a master cutter could ensure that the finished diamond would be beautifully proportioned to reveal its high colour saturation and natural brilliance.
The Cullinan Dream (Estimate: $23,000,000–29,000,000) joins a storied group of fancy coloured diamonds auctioned by Christie’s. Most recently, the Oppenheimer Blue set a world record in Geneva on 18 May when it reached $57.5 million, making it the most valuable jewel ever sold at auction.