This Diamond Is The First Of Its Kind To Be Auctioned Without Reserve
A highly important 102.39-carat D colour Flawless Oval Diamond was sold for HK$121,562,000 or US$15,694,870 in an unprecedented single-lot live action. Considered a first at an auction for a lot of this importance and inherent value, the diamond was offered without reserve which garnered much interest and a string of bids, going quickly to well over HK$100 million.
Some of the bids were placed online, the highest of which was HK$85 million—also the highest value bid ever placed on a jewel online.
"This extraordinary gem needed no help from a pre-sale estimate or reserve to reach its rightful price—just the instinctive desire of collectors to own one of the earth’s greatest treasures," said Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby's Asia.
Other than its amount, the 102.39-carat diamond is also considered perfect according to every critical criterion available and is the 8th diamond weighing more than 100 carats of D colour to have ever appeared at auction.
The winning bid though, went to a private collector who named the gem "Maiko star", after his second daughter and will be heading to Japan. Last year, the same collector bought the 88.2-carat "Minami star" at Sotheby's in April 2019 and named it "Minami star" after his eldest daughter.
The sale further solidified Asia as a place of luxury demand. "We are of course delighted with the results and the positive message the sale sends out to the market," said Nir Livnat, chairman of Diacore. "The result is also testament to the maestria of our diamond cutters: Only eight D colour Internally Flawless or Flawless white diamonds over 100 carats ever sold at auction, six of them by Diacore," he adds.
The world-class diamond is perfect according to every criterion and achieved the highest rankings under each of the standards by which the quality of a diamond is judged, ('the four C's). It is D colour, the highest grade for a white diamond, of exception clarity as it is completely flawless both internally and externally, and has excellent polish and symmetry which is the most sought-after grading for the oval shape category.
In July 2019, a 28.86-carat diamond set a new world record for the most expensive jewel ever auctioned online after selling for US$2.1 million. To provide you with a better picture of what expensive jewels ever sold look like, we rounded up a few of them below.
See also: October 2020: What's New In Jewellery
Price sold: US$71.2 million
Auctioned off at Sotheby's Hong Kong, the Pink Star was acquired by famed jeweller, Chow Tai Fook and renamed CTF Pink Star as a nod to the late Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, the father of current chairman and founder of Chow Tai Fook.
Price sold: US$57.9 million
The sensation ring was sold at Christie's Magnificient Jewels auction in Geneva in May 2016. It was named after its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer.
Price sold: US$50 million
The 18.96-carat vivid pink diamond is one of the rarest pink diamonds over 10 carats to be auctioned in history. Originally a property of the Oppenheimer family, the diamond was bought by Harry Winston and subsequently renamed to The Winston Pink Legacy.
The Blue Moon
Price sold: US$48.5 million
Named after the expression, "once in a blue moon" to signify its rarity, the 12.03-carat vivid blue diamond was sold at the Sotheby's Magnificient Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva. It set a new auction record for the highest price per carat for a diamond or a gemstone—worth $4 million per carat. Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau Luen-hung bought the diamond and named it after his daughter, Josephine.
Price sold: US$46 million
The 24.78-carat intense pink diamond was sold at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva. It was bought by the famed diamond dealer, Laurence Graff and renamed it Graff Pink.
Queen Marie-Antoinette’s Pearl
Price sold: US$36.2 million
Previously belonging to the last Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, the pearl and diamond pendant was sold at Sotheby's auction in Geneva. It was sold 18 times its presale estimations and set a world record for an antique jewel as well as for a natural pearl.