On May 15, 2013, at 20 hours and 38 minutes, an extraordinary pear-shaped, D-color, Flawless diamond of 101.73 carats sold at Christie’s in Geneva for $26.7 million ($254.4 thousand per carat), thus becoming the most expensive colorless diamond ever sold at auction.
The buyer was Harry Winston, who was riding high after its acquisition by the Swatch Group, and who bestowed on this very important gemstone the name ‘Winston Legacy’ Diamond’. Christie’s auction house described the stone as “the most perfect diamond ever offered for sale at auction.” It came from a 234-carat rough diamond discovered in a de Beers mine in Jwaneng, Botswana, and it took 21 months to polish before it was put on the auctioneer’s block. It joined the Lesotho and Hope diamonds in the house’s 80 years of diamond expertise. The outstanding rock was the top lot of the 300-lot Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction, which achieved $102.1 million, the highest total ever for a various-owner jewelry auction in a Christie’s auction. It included several world records for diamonds, pearls and sapphires. A total of 20 lots sold above $1 million, with 147 buyers coming from 31 countries across five continents, according to Christie’s.