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This R440m SA ‘chicken egg’ is sure to make any girl your best ...

Lifestyle

This R440m SA ‘chicken egg’ is sure to make any girl your best friend

A 228-carat diamond that was mined in SA about 20 years ago is headed for auction in Switzerland in May

James Tarmy

The largest white diamond ever to come to auction will hit the block at Christie’s in Geneva on May 11. The 228-carat, pear-shaped stone carries a presale estimate of $20m to $30m (about R300m to R440m). The diamond, which is about the size of a chicken’s egg, was mined about 20 years ago in SA, but is only now coming up for public sale.

“Right now there is a great appetite in the market for diamonds,” said ​​Rahul Kadakia, the international head of jewellery at Christie’s. The firm also brokered the gem’s initial private sale to a collector, who held on to it for most of the past two decades. “With the market the way it is — in 2021 there was a huge resurgence in the art market and jewellery markets — the second owner approached us and said: ‘How would you feel about marketing this for us at public auction?’”

Unsurprisingly, Kadakia felt just fine with an assignment to sell a record-breaking gem. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “If, after the sale, you come up to me and say: ‘Can you find me another 230-carat diamond?’ — well, I can’t.”..

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