Marking the November 2016 sale of the world’s largest pair of pear-shaped, D Flawless diamonds — and an exceedingly rare Fancy Vivid pink pear-shaped diamond ring — we look back at some of the record-breaking pear-shaped diamonds that have passed through Christie’s
Working exclusively with a handful of large, D-colour Flawless clarity diamonds of perfect polish and symmetry, the atelier Boehmer et Bassenge employs years of experience and expertise to create truly exceptional pieces of jewellery.
Christie’s has been chosen by Boehmer et Bassenge’s new boutique Maison de Haute Joaillerie in Paris to auction the first jewels ever designed by this house — a pair of stunning diamond earrings, Miroir de l’Amour, which will be offered in the Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction on 15 November. Miroir de l’Amour features the world’s largest pair of pear-shaped, D Flawless diamonds, weighing 52.55 and 50.47 carats.
The sale will also feature Le Jardin d’Isabelle, a necklace from the Maison de Haute Joaillerie comprising three central diamonds — two pear-shaped diamonds weighing 31.38 and 12.11 carats and a round diamond weighing 8.07 carats — all three of which are D-colour and flawless. Both pieces will be offered without a reserve price, meaning that each jewel will be sold for the highest bid offered in the saleroom.
In the realm of natural coloured diamonds, those of a distinct pink hue are the most sought-after among gem connoisseurs. While most pink diamonds exhibit a colour modifier such as purple, orange or brown, this 9.14 carat diamond shows absolutely no trace of a secondary colour, making it exceedingly rare and attractive.
The stone’s even colour distribution, combined with a balanced saturation tone and straight pink hue, qualify the 9.14-carat pink for the coveted Fancy Vivid colour grading from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Underscoring its absolute rarity is the fact that only one in 100,000 diamonds possesses a colour deep enough to qualify as Fancy. In the Fancy Vivid pink range, diamonds of even five or six carats are rarely encountered in the sale room, making this stone even more special.
Pure orange diamonds — also named ‘fire diamonds’ by the celebrated gemologist Edwin Streeter in his book The Great Diamonds of the World (1882) — are exceptionally rare in nature. So few have been graded in the world that the origin of their colour is still considered rather mysterious.
When it was auctioned in 2013 this diamond was the largest Fancy Vivid Orange diamond ever to have been discovered, weighing approximately 14.82 carats. It is also the largest Fancy Vivid Orange diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
'In the Laboratory's experience,’ stated the GIA, ‘strongly-coloured diamonds in the orange hue range rarely exceed three of four carats when polished. [This gem] is almost four times larger than that size range.’ The uniqueness of The Orange was reflected in its price, selling for $35,543,804 — more than $15 million above its high estimate.
‘Just as a great artist is able to “see” a masterpiece in a block of marble, a perfect diamond is the result of the skill and vision of a master cutter who is able to uncover beauty from a rough gem,’ remarked Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewellery at Christie’s, before the May 2013 sale of one of the largest pear-shaped diamonds known to date. The D colour, Type IIA Flawless gem was being offered at auction for the first time.
On 15 May 2013 this exceptional pear-shaped gem — at 101.73 carats, one of the world’s most perfect diamonds — was the top lot in Christie’s record-breaking $102 million Geneva auction of Magnificent Jewels. It sold to Harry Winston for SFr25,883,750 / US$26,737,913 (US$254,400 per carat), setting a new world record at auction for a colourless diamond, and was immediately named after its new owners.
‘Harry Winston acquired the most perfect diamond ever offered for sale at auction,’ said Kadakia at the time, ‘continuing the tradition of buying and selling only the very best — a trait of the founder, Mr. Winston, himself.’
In the 35 years before the Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale in May 2014, only five Vivid Blue diamonds over 10 carats had ever been sold at auction. It was therefore fitting that one of the largest flawless Vivid Blue diamonds in the world, The Blue — a pear-shaped diamond of 13.22 carats, set in a platinum ring and flanked on either side by flawless pear-shaped colourless diamonds of 1 carat and 0.96 carat respectively — was the star on a record-breaking night.
The Blue sold for SFr21.4 million / US$24 million — more than $1.8 million per carat — setting a new world auction record for the price per carat for a blue diamond. After the sale, which broke the record for highest ever total for a jewellery auction at SFr 139.96 million / US$154.19 million, the diamond’s new owner renamed the diamond ‘The Winston Blue’.