Monday, November 1, 2010

Record Breaking Diamond on Display in New York City

The Whittelsbach-Graff diamond, one of the rarest diamonds in the world, has arrived in New York City. The 31.06 carat, Fancy Deep Blue diamond originally made headlines in 2008 when it sold for a record breaking $24.3 million at Christie’s auction house.

The diamond, which is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History, will be showcased through January 2011. Fresh from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, the Whittelsbach diamond was only on display once before between 1931 and 2008, when it was bought at auction by Laurence Graff, a billionaire diamond dealer, whom promptly attached his name.

Graff scandalized the industry when he announced plans to recut the diamond, seeking to correct imperfections. The diamond lost 4.45 carats from its original size, in order to remove chips and nicks from the girdle, however Industry specialists still believed that the integrity of the diamond’s history has been compromised.

Until recently, it was believed that the Whittelsbach was also cut from “The French Blue,” same stone that produced the Hope Diamond in Washington DC. Last year, scientist at the Smithsonian extensively examined the dimensions of both diamonds and concluded that although there is an uncanny resemblance between the two, they are not from the same crystal.


The Whittelsbach-Graff currently holds the record for the highest price tag of a single diamond brought to auction, but industry specialists expect that record to soon be shattered. A 24.78 carat Pink diamond, known as the Pink Panther Diamond, is going up for auction at Sotheby’s on November 30th and currently has an pre-sale estimate of $27 to $38 million.

As for the Whittelsbach-Graff, its next stop is unknown, according to Graff President and CEO, who told reporters at the Thursday unveiling that although there is great interest in the rare blue diamond, Graff is unsure if he wants to part with such an important piece of history.

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