303-Carat ‘Golden Canary’ Diamond Fails to Sing at Auction

AuctionsDec 08, 2022

303-Carat ‘Golden Canary’ Diamond Fails to Sing at Auction

In addition, a 2.08-carat blue diamond did not find a buyer while a 3.24-carat blue from the same collection was pulled from the sale.

The 303.10-carat fancy deep brownish-yellow “Golden Canary” diamond sold for $12.4 million at Sotheby’s New York on Wednesday, compared to a pre-sale estimate of at least $15 million.
New York—The yellow diamond dubbed the “Golden Canary” fell short of expectations at Sotheby’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale Wednesday while two blue diamonds also did not dazzle. 
The 303.10-carat fancy deep brownish-yellow diamond is one of the largest polished diamonds in the world, Sotheby’s said, and the largest flawless or internally flawless diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
Offered without reserve, meaning with no minimum bid requirement, the auction house expected the stone to sell for at least $15 million.
The final hammer price, however, was only $12.4 million, including buyer’s premium. 
All told, Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale totaled $50 million, with 81 percent of lots sold.
Many jewels failed to exceed expectations.  
There were a few standouts, however, like the 5.27-carat emerald ring from the collection of Mrs. Frank Perdue that was salvaged from a Spanish shipwreck, sold to benefit humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. 

Estimated to earn between $50,000 and $70,000 it brought in a staggering $1.2 million
Two blue diamonds from a collection of “exceptional” blues, though, again failed to find an audience at Magnificent Jewels. 
“The De Beers Exceptional Blues Collection” comprises eight diamonds, two of which Sotheby’s has offered at auction so far.
“The De Beers Exceptional Blues Collection” comprises eight diamonds, two of which Sotheby’s has offered at auction so far.

Earlier this fall, Sotheby’s announced it would sell a collection of eight fancy blue diamonds valued at more than $70 million total at different auctions through 2022 and 2023. 

Sourced from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, De Beers and Diacore jointly purchased the original five rough blue diamonds, with the latter cutting and polishing them into the collection of eight stones. 
The first of “The De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection” failed to sell at Sotheby’s Geneva in November.

On offer at the New York Magnificent Jewels auction this week was a 3.24-carat cushion brilliant-cut internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond (estimated at $5 million-$8 million) and a 2.08-carat cushion-cut fancy intense blue diamond ($1.2 million-$1.5 million).
One of these stones was pulled last minute, and the other failed to meet its reserve.
A Sotheby’s spokesperson explained, “The 3.24-carat from the De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection was withdrawn prior to the sale following discussions with the consignor and, unfortunately, the 2.08-carat from the same collection did not find a buyer in our salesroom today. 
“In no part, however, does this detract from the rarity of the De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection, and we are very much looking forward to presenting the five remaining exquisite gems in the New Year.”
Sotheby’s less-than-stellar sale caps off an interesting auction season full of highs and lows. 
At Sotheby’s Hong Kong this fall the 11.15-carat internally flawless fancy vivid pink “Williamson Pink Star” diamond sold for $57.7 million, becoming the second most expensive gem or jewel ever sold at auction.
Christie’s was poised to have its own pink diamond auction moment with the sale of a 13.15-carat VVS1 clarity, potentially Internally Flawless fancy vivid pink diamond at its Magnificent Jewels sale this week, with the stone estimated to earn between $25 million and $35 million.

The auction house ended up pulling the stone from the sale, however.

 Related stories will be right here …

Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

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