101.73-Carat Diamond Sells For $26.7 Million At Geneva Auction

A 101.73-carat diamond unearthed in Botswana sold for a record $26.7 million at a Christie’s auction house in Geneva Wednesday.

The pear-shaped diamond made up more than a quarter of the auction’s $102 million in sales, which came the night after a Sotheby’s auction pulled in $78 million in sales.

The stone was the largest D-color flawless diamond offered at auction and took 21 months to polish. A D is the highest color grade a diamond can receive and means the stone is 100 percent colorless. D grade diamonds are extremely rare, which is why they command such high prices. Flawless diamonds — those with no inclusions or blemishes — are also incredibly rare.

Among the items sold at the Christie’s auction was Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi’s Audemars Piguet No. 10 Royal Oak Chronograph wristwatch, which sold for $81,850. The watch was sold to raise money for the Leo Messi Foundation, a charity which supports access to health care and education for vulnerable children.

Christie’s recorded another large diamond sale just month when a rare 36.45 carat pink diamond, called the “Princie,” sold for $39.3 million. The Princie — so named for the then-14-year-old prince of Baroda, who was fascinated by the gem — commanded the second largest price for an auctioned diamond, with the highest price being a whooping $46.16 million for another rare pink diamond.

A flawless blue diamond weighing 10.48 carats was sold at a Sotheby’s auction last November for a record $10.86 million (10.27 million Swiss francs). The amount was more than double the pre-sale estimate. The gem had been estimated to sell for 3.2 million to 4.2 million francs. David Bennet, head of Sotheby’s international jewelry department, said the stone can be “re-cut to a 7-carat vivid blue.”

What do you think of the 101.73-carat diamond selling for $26.7 million?