Geneva–A necklace set with the largest flawless white diamond to go to auction sold for $33.7 million Tuesday.
“The Art of De Grisogono, Creation I” led Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva, where its hammer price (including buyer’s premium) set a world record for a D flawless diamond, according to Reuters.
The piece features a 163.41-carat D flawless diamond at center, which was cut from a 404.2-carat rough diamond found in Angola and dubbed the “4 de Fevereiro,” or 4th of February, in honor of the country’s independence day.
Over six months, 14 master craftspeople–consisting of eight jewelers, five setters and one engraver–spent 1,700 hours making Creation I by hand, De Grisogono said.
The setting for the 163.41-carat center stone features 399 brilliant-cut diamonds, and the prongs are set with four baguette-cut diamonds.
In addition to the center stone and its accents, the necklace has 18 emerald-cut diamonds ranging in size from 0.48 to 8.10 carats and totaling 48.64 carats; a total of 862 brilliant-cut diamonds accenting these emerald-cut stones, totaling 6.52 carats; and 5,949 brilliant-cut emeralds totaling 38.84 carats accenting 66 pear-cut emeralds that weigh 120.42 carats total. In addition, the clasp of the collar is hidden under a 0.54-carat emerald.
The necklace was the largest D flawless diamond ever auctioned, according to Christie’s.
It also was, because of De Grisogono’s reported ties to Angola, at the center of one gem explorer’s recent, public protests.
Yianni Melas began a hunger strike on Nov. 7 in Geneva, in an effort to raise awareness about the brand’s reported connection to some of the country’s leaders, telling National Jeweler that unless 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the piece were donated back to the country, he would travel to Athens, Greece to continue his hunger strike at the Acropolis.
De Grisogono’s partner, Nemesis International, has said it will donate 1 percent of the hammer price to the foundation Fundação Brilhante, an organization championing social change in the areas surrounding mines in Angola and established by Endiama, Angola’s national mining company. The money will be used to support the construction of a primary school and health center near the Lulo mine.
Melas, meanwhile, confirmed yesterday on his Instagram account that he would now, in fact, continue his boycott in Greece.