Alrosa’s 51-carat Dynasty diamond fails to sell at auction

Russia’s most expensive diamond ever polished in the country, a giant 51.4-carat gem part of the iconic Dynasty collection, has failed to sell in an online auction held this week.

Alrosa  (MCX:ALRS), the world’s top diamond miner by output, said it didn’t receive a high enough offer for the impressive gem, which bears the same name as the entire Dynasty collection.

Chief executive officer Sergey Ivanov said in August the company was expecting to get at least $10 million for all the five gems in the collection, which came from a single 179-carat rough diamond found in 2015.

The other four diamonds — Sheremetyev, Orlov, Vorontsov and Usupov — were sold at an average premium of 30%.

Now the Russian miner will have to hold a separate auction to sell the Dynasty — a traditional round-cut diamond, whose 2.5 cm (1 inch) diameter is equal in size to the visible part of a human eye. Its unsuccessful auction brings memories of Lucara Diamond's (TSX:LUC) tennis ball-sized "Lesedi La Rona," which also failed to find a buyer at a Sotheby's auction last year.

The five diamonds were named after the dynasties of the Romanov, a family who ruled the nation for more than 300 years before the Russian Revolution.

The other four diamonds — Sheremetyev, Orlov, Vorontsov and Usupov — all sold well, according to Alrosa, which said it obtained an average premium of 30% to reserve prices, but didn’t disclose figures.

More than 130 potential buyers to bid for Alrosa’s rare collection of polished diamonds

The giant 51.4-carat Dynasty diamond. ( Photo: Alrosa.)

According to Alrosa, the unsold Dynasty diamond is potentially the most expensive diamond manufactured in the history of Russian jewellery because of its quality. It has the best so-called triple excellence cutting quality; a feature Alrosa says is shared by less than 1%t of all diamonds ever cut.

Alrosa’s decision to produce these polished diamonds and sell them online fits with a broader industry quest to find new ways to the market and add value on the part of gem producers.

Together, Alrosa and Anglo American’s De Beers produce about half of the world’s rough diamonds.