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Sotheby's to offers fancy vivid blue from historic Cullinan Mine
20
Apr '09
SOTHEBY'S is delighted to announce that the centrepeice of its forthcoming sale of Magnificent Jewels in Geneva, to be held at the Beau-Rivage Hotel on Tuesday, May 12, 2009, will be an important and rare fancy vivid blue, internally flawless, cushion-shaped diamond weighing 7.03 carats.

The diamond, which was cut from a 26.58 carat rough, was discovered in 2008 at Petra Diamonds' historic Cullinan diamond mine in South Africa. The pre-sale estimate is US$5.8-8.5 million/CHF6.8-10 million and the buyer will have the honour of naming the diamond.

At a weight of 7.03 carats, the diamond to be auctioned in May ranks among the most important blue diamonds ever to be offered for sale by Sotheby's. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has graded the stone as fancy vivid blue in colour and internally flawless in clarity, the highest possible grading for a blue diamond.

Blue diamonds, which are among the rarest of all gems, owe their colour to the presence of the chemical element boron during the stone's formation. The Cullinan mine is the world's most consistently reliable source of blue diamonds and this stone is a perfect example of Cullinan diamonds at their best.

Commenting on the fancy vivid blue diamond, David Bennett, Chairman, Europe & the Middle East, Sotheby's International Jewellery department, said: “Blue diamonds are among the rarest of all nature's treasures and it is very exciting to have such a fine example as the centrepiece of our forthcoming Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale.

This stone certainly ranks among the most important blue diamonds that I have had the privilege of offering for sale in my career at Sotheby's and what makes it particularly special for us, is that we've been able to follow its production from the initial rough state through the various stages of its cutting and polishing.”

Johan Dippenaar, CEO, Petra Diamonds, commented: “This fancy vivid blue, internally flawless diamond is a very rare and unique gem. Its quality is enhanced by its Cullinan origins, a mine that has produced some of the world's most famous diamonds. Given its distinguished heritage, it is fitting that Sotheby's should further establish its legacy by marketing the gem as the cornerstone of its exclusive 'Magnificent Jewels' collection in Geneva.”

Since the first diamonds were discovered in the Gauteng province (formerly known as the 'Transvaal') in South Africa over a century ago, the Cullinan mine has produced some of the most spectacular diamonds ever to be unearthed, including the 'Cullinan', which at 3,106 carats remains the largest gem rough ever to be discovered (for further details see notes on Petra Diamonds).

In addition to being the world's most consistently reliable source of blue diamonds the mine has also produced more than a quarter of the world's diamonds weighing more than 400 carats. The mine is located at the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range, 50 kilometers northeast of Pretoria in South Africa.


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