Known for auctioning some of the most priceless items found across the world, Sotheby’s selection of precious stone auctions is no secret. Right from the 102-carat flawless oval diamond to the 170-carat Lulo Rose diamond, Sotheby’s has sold some very expensive and rare stones over the years. Adding to this reputation, it has now unveiled a massive 3033.10-carat yellow diamond dubbed the Golden Canary which will be featured in its Magnificent Jewels sale in December.
A pear-shaped diamond, the Golden Canary is one of the largest polished diamonds in the world and the largest flawless or internally flawless diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
“The Golden Canary is one of the most exquisite diamonds ever to be discovered, not only for its sheer size and intensity in colour but for its stunning beauty that is sure to captivate collectors around the world,” said Quig Bruning, head of jewellery for Sotheby’s America, in a statement to the press. “Sotheby’s is privileged to help write the next chapter for this incomparable, reborn gem.”
History and origin
The Golden Canary dates back to the 1980s when it was first discovered in a pile of rubble, by a young girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who then gave it to her uncle. The diamond, Sotheby’s mentions, was discarded by the miners at a local mine who didn’t think it was diamond-bearing.
It was first presented to the public in 1984 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Over the next couple of years, the original 890-carat diamond was cut and shaped into 15 polished stones. The largest among these was the “Incomparable” diamond weighing a massive 407.49 carats. The Golden Canary has been re-cut from its original shield shape into a more traditional pear shape and is now deeper in colour, brighter in hue, and more classic in profile.
Making of the Golden Canary
A sensational gemstone, the Incomparable Diamond was exhibited around the world in museums like the American Museum of Natural History in New York in 1997, the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris in 2001, and more recently the Houston Museum of Science in 2008. The latter was the last time the time was showcased as the Incomparable Diamond. In an attempt to maximize the stone’s colour and hue, the GIA decided to re-cut it, resulting in the 3033.10-carat Golden Canary Diamond that it is today.
“The recut of the Incomparable to the current 303.10-carat pear modified brilliant is to look at the diamond anew; a re-creation bringing to bear the advances in technology, computer modelling and visual evaluation available today,” the GIA stated in its monograph about the diamond.
The historic and largest flawless diamond will be showcased on a worldwide tour beginning in Sotheby’s galleries in Dubai. It will then travel to cities including Taipei, Geneva, and Hong Kong before the auction in New York where it will be offered at an estimated US $15 million without reserve, with the bidding starting at just $1.