The world’s largest black cut diamond exhibited at Christie’s

Christie's in London will display one of the world's largest cut black diamonds in an exhibition dedicated to the jewellery sculptor and artist, Wallace Chan, next week

By Kim Parker

In the Venn diagram of art and jewellery, the Chinese creative innovator Wallace Chan resides firmly in the middle, somewhere between ‘OMG’ and ‘WOW’. Between 4th and 10th September 2023, Christie’s in London will host the largest European exhibition to date of Chan’s work, including a piece called ‘The Legend of the Colour Black’, an enormous shoulder brooch which holds the world’s largest cut black diamond.

Entitled ‘The Wheel of Time’, the retrospective will be free and open to the public, encompassing 150 pieces of jewellery and six titanium sculptures, some of which have never been seen before. It will be the fifth exhibition Chan and Christie’s have collaborated on, following previous shows in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and provide a look back at the artist’s continuing career over the past five decades.

the world's largest cut black diamond
A close-up detail of Wallace Chan’s shoulder brooch ‘The Legend of the Colour Black’ shows the facets of the world’s largest cut black diamond

‘The Legend of the Colour Black’ is just one of the highlights expected at the show. The black diamond shoulder brooch sculpture was designed to depict a deconstructed neuron (the nerve cells that enable us to learn, speak, think and move), with the main body of the piece made up of synapses, created from lightweight titanium and Wallace Chan’s own porcelain, which is five times stronger than steel.

Its central stone is an impressive 312.24 carat faceted black diamond, the largest such gemstone in the world known to date. A matching form hand-carved from crystal hangs directly beneath it, and within the crystal is a pattern designed to resemble the human brain, adorned with further diamonds and sapphires.

Wallace Chan’s ‘The Joy of Life’ butterfly is comprised sapphires, diamonds, pearls and titanium.

Another notable display will be Chan’s ‘The Joy of Life’ brooch, featuring one of the artist’s favourite motifs, a butterfly, crafted from pink sapphires, tsavorite garnets, diamonds, pearls and titanium.

“In the blink of an eye, half a century has flown by. I am humbled by the opportunity to present my largest exhibition at Christie’s in London,” says Chan, of his latest show. “Time is an eternal wheel that rotates for infinity with neither beginning nor end. In the creative process, time is a theme so intangible, yet omnificent.”

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