Onassis Diamond is Huge and Flawless

LONDON – Another huge diamond is hitting the market – this time it’s a pear-shaped gem that belonged to heiress Christina Onassis. It will be auctioned June 11 at Christie’s with an estimated value as high as $4.3 million.

Dubbed the “Poor Little Rich Girl” by the media, Onassis was the only child of the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Twenty years after her death at age 37, her family is auctioning 45 pieces from her jewelry collection. The sale is expected to realize more than $15 million.

The diamond, now on display in Geneva, is a glittering symbol of a glamorous, but troubled, international lifestyle that would outdo most Royals and pop stars today. Sold by the famed 5th Avenue jeweler Harry Winston, it weighs in at 38 carats and is rated as D in color. Christie’s describes the brilliantly white gem as potentially flawless. Christina Onassis wore it on a pendant necklace.

The Onassis diamond becomes available at a time when the market for large diamonds is uneven. Earlier this year, Christie’s sold a 39-carat “D” color, flawless diamond for $6.87 million – and it did not carry the Onassis name or the pedigree of Harry Winston’s. On May 31, the auction house will offer a flawless, 101-carat diamond that is the largest of its kind to be sold in two decades.

But in April, Sotheby’s withdrew a 72- carat “D” flawless white diamond when bidding failed to meet its presale estimate of $10-12 million.

Other highlights of the Onassis collection to be sold include:

• A sapphire and diamond necklace by Harry Winston (estimate: $234,000- $292,000)

• A ruby and diamond necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels (estimate: $58,500-$78,000)

• An exceptionally rare bowenite Buddha by Carl Fabergé that was prominently displayed took on her father’s yacht. The figurine’s hands and head move on springs and pivots, and it was described as having “serenely rocked” as the ship plied the Mediterranean. Bowenite is a mineral that is very similar to jade. Christie’s estimates the Buddha will fetch $487,000 to $681,000.

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