'The Rock' is displayed at Christie's auction house in Dubai on Friday, ahead of an auction where it is expected to fetch up to $30 million. AFP
A giant diamond nicknamed "The Rock" went on display for the first time in Dubai on Friday ahead of an auction where it is expected to fetch up to $30 million.
The 228.31-carat pear-shaped gem, which was mined and polished in South Africa more than 20 years ago, is the largest white diamond ever to come to auction, said auction house Christie's.
After making its debut at Christie's Dubai, where it will be displayed from March 26-29, The Rock will travel to Taipei, New York and Geneva, where it will be auctioned on May 11.
A Christie's auction house staff displays for the media 'The Rock,' in Dubai. AFP
"The Middle East has always had such a great appreciation for important jewels and gemstones," Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewellery at Christie's, said.
"We thought it would be nice for us to launch the diamond in an area where there are so many great collectors for important gems of this nature."
The diamond is the "largest existing D-Z colour pear-shaped diamond ever graded" by the Gemological Institute of America, Christie's said in a statement, adding it is "G colour, VS1 clarity."
The previous auction record for the largest colourless diamond was a 163.41 carat sparkler which sold in November 2017 for $33.7 million, Christie's said.
Earlier this year, Sotheby's in London sold "The Enigma" — the largest cut diamond ever to come to auction, at 555.55 carats — for $4.3 million.
The world's largest known cut diamond went on public display for the first time on Monday ahead of its sale, when it is expected to reach $5 million.
"It's wearable and comfortable," said 25-year-old Harish Bansal, who described his audacious creation as a dream project. Bansal said he got the idea two years ago while studying jewellery design in western city of Surat.
The 11.15 carat flawless pink diamond started its roadshow in Dubai, one of the world’s leading diamond trade hubs, and will travel to Singapore and Taipei, before being offered by Sotheby’s at a single-lot auction in Hong Kong in October.
"We are ready to release all soldiers in exchange for all our prisoners," Hamas official and former Gaza health minister Bassem Naim told a press conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
The party needs a new chairman to hold elections scheduled for Saturday to elect a new party chairman and other office bearers as former national cricketing hero Khan, being a convict, is barred from taking part.
CCTV footage circulating online and on television news shows a boy being struck by a bullet and falling in the street, sending other children fleeing.