It’s no surprise that online sales are going gangbusters during a time when in-person activities of any kind are mostly discouraged. Christie’s says it has had an unprecedented online engagement in the last few months with new registrants for online auctions as high as 80 percent and its online jewelry sales, in particular, have been strong with sell-through rates ranging from 89 percent to 99 percent—doubling pre-sale estimates.
As a result, Christie’s is offering an extraordinary, fresh-to-market 28.86-carat, D-color diamond, previously intended for a live auction, in its upcoming Jewels Online sale from June 16-30. It is the highest valued lot, with an estimate of $1,000,000 to $2,000,000, ever offered online by the auction house.
The emerald-cut diamond has VVS1 clarity—as close to perfect as you can get in the stone—and is Type IIa, a designation signaling its chemical purity (no coloration from nitrogen) and extreme transparency which is found in less than 2 percent of all diamonds. These kinds of diamonds can typically only be found in a few mines in Golconda, Brazil and South Africa. Christie’s would not outright confirm the stone’s origin but the house believes it originated in South Africa.
The closest potential clients will get to the diamond pre-sale is via virtual private sales viewing room. “Our specialists have built meaningful relationships with our clients, thereby our clients trust in the pieces that we offer for sale, so many can comfortably transact without seeing pieces in person,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewelry at Christie’s. But for those that still prefer to give million-dollar rocks a closer inspection, Kadakia says Christie’s has invested in improved photo quality and video technology for 3-D viewing.
While you’re at it, may we suggest you also check out the stunning Graff pieces that will also be part of the sale? The highlights include a diamond necklace with a cascading diamond fringe, an openwork bracelet with round and pear-shaped diamonds and a diamond and sapphire necklace in an openwork flower motif design. And just for the record, if you bought all three at their top estimate they would cost you just half the price of the loose 28.86-carat diamond headliner.