The Infinite Blue diamond is coming to Sotheby's Dubai ahead of its auction in Hong Kong.
As part of its world tour before its sale on October 5, this remarkable stone will be on display for one day only at the Dubai International Financial Centre on Monday, between 10am and 4pm.
At 11.28 carats, the stone has been precision cut to include the number 8, considered auspicious in many Asian countries, and is radiant cut, to give full brilliance to the stone.
Most notably, the stone had been graded by the Gemological Institute of America as a "Fancy Vivid Blue" diamond, the highest possible colour grading that is awarded to just 1 per cent of blue diamonds.
Named The Infinite Blue in honour of its colour, it is regarded as so important that it will be the only lot on offer on the day. Sotheby's has estimated its value to be between $26,000,000 and 37,000,000 (Dh95,485,000-135,882,500).
Speaking with The National, Sotheby’s jewellery specialist Sophie Stevens explains why this stone is so exceptional.
"The Infinite Blue diamond represents everything you want from a jewel – beauty, rarity and craftsmanship," she says.
"The Infinite Blue diamond hails from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, which is the only mine to produce blues with any regularity in recent times. Prior to The Infinite Blue, only three Fancy Vivid Blue diamonds weighing over 10 carats have been sold at auction.
"The most recent of these was the De Beers Blue diamond, which was also showcased at Sotheby’s Dubai last year ahead of its auction in Hong Kong."
With the gem on show for just one day, the purpose of its arrival in Dubai is to allow key customers to see it up close before it jets off to the next stop ahead of the auction.
"Our clients in the Middle East always like to see exceptional stones such as this in person," Stevens explains. "We simply do not come across Fancy Vivid Blue diamonds weighing over 10 carats very often, as evidenced by their auction history."
While the gemstone market is growing year on year, as the ultra rich look to build collections, or sink their wealth into portable assets, Stevens explains that the coloured gemstones will always be more attractive to investors, simple due to scarcity.
While high-quality white diamonds are few and far between, exceptional coloured gemstones are astonishingly scarce.
"The rarity of such stones is what mainly drives the coloured diamond market," she says.
"While we still have strong demand for white diamonds, generally they are easier to source for clients due to less limited supply. That said, our clients still desire both coloured and white diamonds when building their collections. Classic white diamond jewels – be it a solitaire ring, a stunning riviere or a pair of earrings – will never go out of fashion."