Largest ever Russian diamond fetches $14.1m at Christie’s

The Spectacle gave its name to the collection of gems dedicated to the Russian ballet. (Image courtesy of Christie’s.)

The largest diamond ever cut in Russia – a 100.94 carat stone called the Alrosa Spectacle – has sold for 12.84-million Swiss francs ($14.1-million) at Christie’s in Geneva.

Polishing and cutting the rough diamond, discovered by Alrosa (MCX:ALRS) at one of its alluvial mine in Russia’s Far East in 2016, took 20 months.

The emerald-cut, Type IIA, D-Color, internally flawless Spectacle gave its name to the collection of gems, which also included rings, earrings, brooches and other pieces dedicated to the Russian ballet.

Diamond prices are recovering after the pandemic brought the industry to an almost complete standstill in the first half of 2020. Strong holiday sales in the US and positive signs from the Chinese New Year have prompted buyers to replenish their rough stones stocks.

The Spectacle, polished from a diamond found by Alrosa in 2016, took a year and eight months to prepare and polish in Moscow.

Alrosa, the world’s top diamond miner by output, is only allowed to sell rough diamonds over 10.8 carats at auctions. First, however, it must offer those larger than 50 carats to the Gokhran state repository.

The state-owned miner first offered a rough diamond of similar size at an open auction held in Moscow in 2003.

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