Have you ever wondered what a 303-carat diamond looks like? Even if the thought has never crossed your mind, you now have a chance to see one (and for some, potentially even own one), and trust us when we tell you that it's worth taking a long, hard look at. Sotheby's has announced that they will be auctioning off a rare GIA-graded internally flawless "Golden Canary" diamond at their next Magnificent Jewels sale in New York. The real surprise, though, is that the rock (literally!) is being auctioned off "without reserve," meaning bidding can begin at just a dollar. That said, it's expected to fetch far more money than that.
Featuring a fancy, deep brownish-yellow hue, the Golden Canary in question is a pear-shaped gemstone that originally weighed 407.49 carats before it was shaped and cut. Quig Bruning, head of jewelry for Sotheby’s America, previously told Only Natural Diamonds, "Steeped in history, The Golden Canary is one of the most exquisite diamonds to ever be discovered, not only for its sheer size and intensity in color but for its stunning beauty that is sure to captivate collectors around the world. Sotheby’s is privileged to help write the next chapter for this incomparable, reborn gem."
It is also one of several rare, fancy-colored diamonds that have been auctioned off this year. A few past gems include an 11.15-carat "Williamson Pink Star" diamond (which sold for $57.7 million) and the 15.10-carat "The De Beers Blue" blue diamond (which sold for over $57.4 million). Following the trajectory of both recent sales, diamond experts anticipate that the Golden Canary will auction off for an estimated $15 million.
It's not an everyday occurrence that a stone of this quality and size gets auctioned off to the public, so diamond collectors and jewelry lovers are seemingly excited about this one. Previously, the gemstone was being held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, before being owned by Mouawad, a luxury jewelry brand. Mouawad also gained notoriety during their ownership when they set the diamond in a necklace, and as a result, the piece of jewelry was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most valuable necklace in the world.
The stone's fascinating history doesn't stop there. Predating back to the 1980s, the Golden Canary is said to have been originally found by a young girl playing in the backyard of her uncle's house. Miners in the area initially thought the stone was junk, as they believed it was too large to be a diamond, and immediately discarded it. It was the young girl's uncle who saw its value and ended up selling it to a local diamond dealer.
Safe to say, we're excited to see the next iteration of this rare stone and watch where it lands next. Will it sell for $15 million? Who will be the lucky person to bring it home? And the most important question: Can it be made into an engagement ring? Only time will tell.