The Firebird, a 20.7-carat Asscher-cut diamond, graded by GIA as a fancy vivid yellow, with VS1 clarity and excellent polish and symmetry.
The polished diamond features an Asscher-cut and was graded by GIA as a fancy vivid yellow, with VS1 clarity and excellent polish and symmetry.
“This Fancy Vivid Yellow with high clarity and very special step-cut is truly unique. And one can only imagine the wealth of rough colors that comes from that fire that sparks the diamond’s lightness. It is extremely rare and very special in the world of diamonds to see unique yellow diamond like this,” said John King, GIA Chief Quality Officer.
No price for the purchase was announced, but both sides confirmed that it was one of the highest prices per carat paid for such a stone in recent years.
“We are delighted to see that such a beautiful exceptional diamond has found an equally exceptional owner,” stated Sergey Ivanov, after the sale.
A SET OF STONES DEDICATED TO RUSSIAN BALLET
Cut from the “Stravinsky,” a 34.17-carat rough stone, in its original form the Firebird featured rare honey-yellow overtones. It was discovered at the “Ebelyah” mine in Yakutia in 2017, and was then declared the largest yellow rough diamond ever extracted in Russia.
The diamond was cut in Russia by Alrosa itself. As the company explained it, the polished stone resembles a simultaneous ensemble of flame, reflecting of sunlight on crystal water and a trail of sparkles coming from the tail of a Firebird.
It is is a part of the Spectacle Collection, which is dedicated to the Russian ballet. The ballet after which it is named was composed by Igor Stravinsky, and is based on the Russian fairytale of the Firebird, which is both a blessing and curse for its owner.
The two other diamonds in the collection are the “Spirit of the Rose” as 14.8-carat fancy vivid purple-pink stone, and another diamond that Alrosa says will be formally presented when cutting and polishing is complete.
SON OF A TAILOR TO A WORLD CELEBRATED COLLECTOR
The son of a tailor, Graff got his start in the diamond business at age 15 in 1953, as an apprentice in Hatton Garden in London’s jewelry quarter. He established his first business at aged 17, and eventually found his way into high-end diamond jewelry retail, starting with a shop in london in 1962. Today he heads a retail network of more than 60 boutiques around the world, many of them located in exclusive luxury shopping districts.
He is best known for dealing in large diamonds. Among the more recent is the 302.37-carat Graff Lesedi La Rona, which is the largest and highest clarity diamond ever certified by the GIA, as well being as the world’s largest square emerald cut diamond.
Among the others are the Windsor Yellows, the Graff Sweethearts, the 47.39-carat canary-hued Star of Bombay and the Wittelsbach-Graff blue diamond, which originally was part of the Austrian and Bavarian crown jewels.
Diamond jewelry is not the only precious objects that Graff collects. An art aficionado, he has served on the board of the Guggenheim in New York and the Tate Modern in London, and his personal collection includes pieces by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon, among others.