The Evening Star Diamond, so-called because it was the owner's jewel of choice for evening events and galas is coming up for auction at Christie's as part of a special sale of 10 pieces of jewellery from a private collection.
The gem is a pear-shaped diamond from the Golconda mines in India, which has been the source of many of the world's most famous and fabulous diamonds including the Hope diamond and Wittelsbach diamond.
The Evening Star weighs 39 carats, and is a rare Type IIa diamond. Type IIa diamonds make up around 1.5% of the world's natural diamonds and are defined by their negligible impurity levels.
Specifically, Type Ia diamonds have nitrogen impurities which afflicts them with a tinge of yellow. Type IIa diamonds usually, as in this prize example, have an extremely pure white colour which is graded D - the purest rating for a colourless diamond.
The jewel was typically worn in a necklace of 68 pear-shaped diamonds, which is available separately, valued at around $500,000, whilst matching pear-shaped diamond earrings (10.21 and 10.51 carats, also Type IIa) are listed at $1.7-2.5m.
The collection also boasts one more D colour-rated diamond, of rectangular cut 36.78 carat diamond set in a platinum ring, valued at up to $3.5m.
The sale will also include a Van Cleef & Arpels diamond bracelet listed at $100,000-150,000, and a set of diamond and ruby jewels expected to sell for up to $550,000. The latter include three oval cut rubies set in a ring and two earrings, weighing 11.22, 8.59 and 8.23 carats respectively.
Diamond sales have remained mostly strong during the past year despite economic difficulties. The recent sale of the Annenberg diamond for $7.7m is a good example of this.
The Evening Star collection is available to view from December 5-9 before selling in New York in the afternoon of December 10 - a very rare occasion to bid on a collection of such high quality.
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