At 303.10 Carats, The Golden Canary is the largest Flawless or Internally Flawless diamond ever graded by the GIA.
The historically important diamond could realise more than $15 Million at Sotheby’s New York this December.
After the De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection, today Sotheby’s has unveiled to the world another landmark gem: The Golden Canary.
The Fancy Deep Brownish-Yellow Diamond weighs an impressive 303.10 carats. It is also one of the largest polished diamonds in the world. The diamond is also the largest flawless or internally flawless diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
The miraculous diamond also boasts a significant history and provenance – formerly weighing just over 407 carats as the “Incomparable Diamond.”
Here is the Incomparable Diamond in the L’Incomparable necklace by Mouawad. The necklace received ‘The Most Valuable Necklace in the World’ recognition from the Guinness World Records.
Recut from its original shield shape into a classic pear shape, the Golden Canary is now deeper in colour, brighter in hue and more elegant in profile, claiming its spot in the pantheon of exceptional diamonds.
The Golden Canary will highlight Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on 7 December. Its estimate is in the region of $15 million, and will be offered without reserve, with bidding starting at just $1.
We have had an exceptional year of presenting extraordinary coloured diamonds at our global jewellery auctions, as the demand and appetite for these rarities continues to grow. Just two weeks after the record-breaking sale of the Williamson Pink Star for $57.7 million, we are honoured to offer the largest polished diamond in present existence to appear at auction. 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 colour, 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.Quig Bruning, Head of Jewelry for Sotheby’s America’s
Given the global interest in this nature’s treasure, the diamond will appear in a worldwide tour. Unveiled today in Sotheby’s galleries in Dubai, it will travel to cities including Taipei, Geneva, and Hong Kong.
We are excited to continue to celebrate the UAE as the ultimate destination for lovers of luxury, with the global unveiling of a gemstone of such extraordinary calibre alongside a selling exhibition curated by our team here on the ground.Katia Nounou Boueiz, Head of Sotheby’s UAE
Alongside the global unveiling of the Golden Canary, Sotheby’s Dubai has also launched a selling exhibition showcasing an edit of rare luxury items, all of which are available for immediate purchase.
The Legendary Story of the Golden Canary
The Golden Canary’s illustrious provenance begins in the early 1980s in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A young girl playing in the backyard of her uncle’s house found the stone amongst a pile of rubble. At the time, miners from the nearby MIBA diamond mine had considered the discovery too bulky to be diamond-bearing and had discarded it. Little did the miners know that that rubble turned out to be an 890-carat rough diamond, one of the largest rough diamonds the world had ever seen. The girl gave the stone to her uncle, who, in turn, sold it to local diamond dealers.
The diamond was first presented to the public in 1984 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, displayed alongside the world’s most legendary diamonds.
As the largest uncut, rough diamond known then, the 890-carat gem became a global news sensation, captivating the world’s curiosity. Over five years, the cutters cut the rough diamond into 15 finished stones. The largest of the resulting diamonds, a Fancy Deep Brownish-Yellow weighing 407.49 carats, became formally known as the “Incomparable.”
With its unusually shaped facets and small table, the shield-shaped step cut preserved much of the shape and bulk of the original rough. As a result, it was the largest internally flawless or flawless cut diamond ever discovered and graded by the GIA.
With the cutters finishing their work, the Incomparable appeared in numerous museum exhibitions around the world, most notably The Nature of Diamonds at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in 1997, Diamants at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris in 2001, and The Nature of Diamonds, an exhibition that toured The Royal Ontario Museum and the Houston Museum of Science in 2008.
Eventually, the Incomparable was cut again to maximise the depth of its colour, brighten its hue and improve its shape. This work resulted in the stone known today as the Golden Canary.