The 103.49-carat ‘Light of Africa’ diamond was the top earner during Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels tender, selling for more than $US20 million ($AU28.2 million).
The rare D-flawless Type IIA emerald-cut white diamond was crafted by Dubai-based Stargems from a 299.3-carat rough unearthed from the Cullinan Mine in South Africa and easily surpassed its pre-sale high estimate of $US18 million.
The diamond was purchased by Stargems from Cullinan’s owner Petra Diamonds in 2021 for $US12.2 million ($AU17.2 million).
In a statement, Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewellery for Christie’s, said “The auction rounded off an incredible sale season with solid results worldwide.”
Kadakia added that diamonds continue to generate high demand, as shown by the Light of Africa which fetched $US195,000 ($AU274,554) per carat.
The lots that belonged to the estate of Ann and Gordon Getty also performed well, earning a total of $US5.9 million ($AU8.31 million) which also significantly exceeded pre-sale estimates.
The highest valued piece of the Getty jewellery collection was a diamond and multi-gem parrot tulip brooch, which fetched $US831,600 ($AU1.17 million) and surpassed the estimate of $US300,000.
An agate, diamond and sapphire zebra brooch from the Getty collection also sold for $US554,400 ($AU780,576) – more than eight times the estimated pre-sale value.
The auction generated a total of $US48.9 million ($AU68.85 million) with 95 per cent of the lots sold.