In an auction, Sotheby’s has sold a rare white 102.39-carat oval diamond in Hong Kong for HK$122 million, the equivalent of $20.9 million.
The oval-shaped diamond was mined at the De Beers Victor diamond mine in northern Ontario in 2018 – the same year the mine was closed. The gemstone was part of a 271-carat rough diamond which took over a year to cut and polish by Diacore, a multinational company with manufacturing facilities in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and New York. The flawless diamond was categorized as a D colour Type llA due to its chemical purity and exceptional transparency.
Sotheby’s said that the diamond was purchased by an unnamed collector in Japan, named the stone the “Maiko Star” for his second daughter after he won it with a bid made by phone to the auction house’s Hong Kong location.
Sotheby’s said that the diamond was offered without a reserve price, the first for a lot of its value and importance, and attracted a numerous bids, including one for the Canadian equivalent of $14.6 million, the highest bid ever placed on a jewel from an online bidder.
Only seven other white diamonds of more than 100 carats and similar quality have appeared at auction, five of them with Sotheby’s.
Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said in a press release that the “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. The sale is a testament “not just to the importance of this diamond, but to the market for diamonds more broadly.”