On June 16, Sotheby’s will auction two diamonds weighing over 100 cts. at its Magnificent Jewels sale in New York City, including one legendary gem.
The first, the Juno, is a 101.41 ct. pear-shape D internally flawless and is expected to fetch more than $10 million. Also up for sale is the Earth Star, a renowned 111.59 ct. pear-shape fancy deep orange-brown diamond.
In a statement, Sotheby’s hailed the Juno as the “fourth-largest pear diamond of its kind to be offered at auction.”
“Pear-shape diamonds are particularly sought-after members of the 100 ct. club,” the auction house added, “for they are more wearable than other shapes, making perfect pendants to important necklaces.”
The Juno is a type IIA diamond, which is extremely uncommon in natural stones. It is named for the ancient Roman queen of the gods, who was considered the goddess of light and fertility.
As far as the Earth Star, Sotheby’s noted that brown diamonds of this size, in cut-and-polished form, are extremely rare, with only three diamonds over 100 carats ever having come to auction. This one is the second largest.
The Earth Star was listed in Lord Ian Balfour’s authoritative book Famous Diamonds. Sotheby’s will offer it without reserve, but with a $1.5 million–$2.5 million estimate. For this auction, jeweler David Webb has fashioned a custom mounting using the gemstone azurmalachite, to resemble Earth as seen from the perspective of a star.
The original piece of rough, weighing over 248 cts., was discovered at the Jagersfontein mine in South Africa in 1967. In 1983, it was sold for nearly $1 million and has remained in private hands ever since, making this is the first time the diamond has appeared on the market in almost 40 years.