Russia to auction giant 51-carat polished diamond

Russian miner Alrosa said on Tuesday it plans to sell a rare collection of polished diamonds produced domestically, including a giant 51.38-carat gem, at an online auction in November.

This huge, traditional round-cut diamond, whose 2.5 cm (1 inch) diameter is equal in size to the visible part of a human eye, bears the same name as the whole Dynasty collection.

SEE ALSO: World's most valuable pink diamond up for auction

SEE ALSO: Perfect 100 carat diamond sold for $22.1 million

According to state-controlled Alrosa, it is potentially the most expensive diamond manufactured in the history of Russian jewelry because of its high quality.

It took a year and a half for Alrosa's specialists to create five polished diamonds for the collection from a 179-carat Romanovs rough diamond, extracted at one of the company's mines in Russia's far eastern Yakutia region in 2015.

The collection is dedicated to the Tsar Peter the Great, who built the city of St Petersburg, and the Romanov dynasty, which ruled Russia for 300 years, Alrosa, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds in carat terms, said in a statement.

The collection's name fits well with a surge in patriotism in Russia triggered by Moscow's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and Western sanctions against Moscow.

"There was a good reason to choose the name for the collection, which is connected with Alrosa's intention to revive the traditions and memory of renowned Russian jewelers famous for their craftsmanship and filigree since Russia's first cutting and polishing factory founded by Peter I (the Great) early in the 18th century," the company said.

In an industry context, Alrosa's decision to produce these polished diamonds and sell them online fits with a broader quest to find new ways to the market and add value on the part of gem producers.

Alrosa and Anglo American's De Beers unit, which for the first time auctioned polished stones this year, produces about half of the world's rough diamonds.

The main 51.38-carat diamond has a 57-facet traditional round brilliant cut with triple excellent cut, D color and VVS1 clarity.

"As to overall characteristics, it is unprecedented in the history of Russia," Alrosa said. The other stones in the collection are a 16.67-carat round-cut diamond, a 5.05-carat oval diamond, a 1.73-carat pear-cut diamond, and a 1.39-carat diamond.

Alrosa did not disclose the estimated value of the main diamond in the collection. Based on the value of other large polished diamonds sold at global auctions, the main gem could be worth at least several tens of millions of dollars. (Reporting by Polina Devitt in Moscow; Additional reporting by Diana Asonova in Moscow and Barbara Lewis in London; Editing by Dale Hudson)

6 PHOTOS
10 incredible auctions
See Gallery
10 incredible auctions

The most expensive watch ever sold at auction fetched just under $24 million in November 2014. The gold pocket watch was made by Patek Philippe, and is the most complex ever made without the use of computer technology.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication was commissioned in 1925, and took eight years to make.

The world's most expensive stamp sold at auction in 2014 for over $9 million.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is as rare as a stamp can get. British Guiana was one of the first countries in the New World to start issuing stamps, but in 1856, they ran out, and asked the local newspaper printer to produce extras.

There were two denominations: the four-cent, which is very rare, and the one-cent - of which only one has ever been discovered.

In May 2015, an anonymous London businesswoman snapped up the licence plate KR15 HNA for £233,000, making it the most expensive standard number plate ever to be sold in the UK.

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

They have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," said auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

In 2014, a three-year-old slice of cake sold at auction for $7,500 (£4,800). The reason the stale cake was in such demand was that it was from the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

The buyer said he intended to give it away as part of promoting his Silicon Valley start-up.

A British coin sold at auction for a record-breaking £430,000 in 2014. After fees, the buyer paid £516,000 - making it the most expensive modern British coin ever to be sold.

The coin is only one of two in existence. It was a 'proof' for a gold sovereign which was meant to be produced to commemorate the coronation of Edward VIII in 1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936, so the coronation never happened and the coins were never made

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS