The Harrods diamond

ROCK OF AGES: It may not be as big as the Ritz, but the diamond that Harrods plans to display this month remains one whopper of a rock.

Weighing 228.31 carats, the pear-shaped diamond has, until now, spent much of its life in a safe deposit box at Harrods.

The owner, who has requested anonymity, is putting it up for sale, but not at auction, WWD has learned. The Harrods Diamond, as it’s known, will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Price is on application.

The Harrods Diamond will be available to view, by appointment at the store’s Fine Jewellery Room, from mid-December.

The Gemological Institute of America has graded the gem’s color as G, the top of the near-colorless class, while the clarity is VS1, a rare designation for a diamond of such proportions.

Harrods said items from its safe deposit boxes almost never come up for sale. This is also the first time the diamond has been displayed. Stones of that size and class are rarely sold outside auction.

“It is rare that stones of this weight, cut, polish and symmetry are sold outside auction, so this is an exceptional opportunity for Harrods’ customers and a very exciting moment in Harrods’ history,” said Helen David, chief merchant.

It is not the only unusual diamond to surface of late.

Last month, British jeweler Graff Diamonds unveiled “Graff Venus,” the largest heart-shaped diamond in the world. The diamond is graded as a color D, and weighs 118.78 carats. It was discovered last year at the Letseng mine in Lesotho, Africa.

It came from a 357-carat rough diamond. Graff said it was the biggest diamond it had ever cut and polished. The company had to develop new tools and processes as a result.

In mid-November the Foxfire Diamond — the largest known uncut, gem-quality diamond mined in North America — was unveiled publicly for the first time in North America in Washington, D.C.

The diamond weighs 187.63 carats and has been called a “miracle of nature.” It will share a home with the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History until Feb. 16.

Unearthed in the frozen tundra 130 miles from the Arctic Circle in the Barren Lands of Canada’s Northwest Territories, the diamond was found by the Diavik Diamond Mine owned by Rio Tinto.

Its owner, Deepak Sheth, president of Amadena Investments LLC, plans to keep the diamond intact and not have it cut into smaller stones for jewelry. Sheth purchased the diamond in an international auction last June for an undisclosed amount.

The two-billion-year-old rock is on display in the museum’s National Gem Collection in the Harry Winston Gallery.