Sotheby’s got $12.4 million for the 303.1 ct. Golden Canary—the recut version of the Incomparable—making it the third most valuable yellow diamond ever sold at auction. The Golden Canary is a Fancy Deep Brownish Yellow color and is considered the largest internally flawless diamond in the world.
The story of the Golden Canary’s discovery is also quite captivating.
In the early 1980s, a young girl playing near her uncle’s house in modern-day Democratic Republic of Congo, found a large golden-colored stone in a pile of rocks. At the time, miners from the nearby MIBA diamond mine had considered the rubble too bulky to be diamond-bearing and had discarded it. That piece of unassuming rubble turned out to be an 890-carat rough diamond, one of the largest roughs the world had ever seen. The girl gave the stone to her uncle, who, in turn, sold it to local diamond dealers.
By 1984, it was first presented to the public, displayed alongside the world’s most legendary and mythologized diamonds at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. The Washington Post heralded it as “the largest uncut, rough diamond known to exist in the world today – a flawless 890-carat ‘fancy intense’ golden-yellow diamond” and speculated about what shape cutters would choose and what its value might be.
Photo Credit: Sotheby’s