Diamonds are forever … or at least, so we are told.
Especially when, they are exceedingly rare, are 102.39 carats and are white and flawless.
Described as “completely flawless” by auctioneer Sotheby’s, the stunning stone went to an unnamed telephone bidder for HK$122 million (US$15.7 million) in a Hong Kong auction held online because of Covid-19, Agence France-Presse reported.
“The buyer of this diamond has bagged a bargain,” claimed Tobias Kormind, managing director of online jeweller 77 Diamonds.
Right, well … maybe the jury is out on that verdict.
During a time of economic uncertainty, he said, “savvy investors are currently falling over themselves to acquire alternative safe haven assets like diamonds, property and gold.”
Only seven other white diamonds bigger than 100 carats and of the same quality have ever gone under the hammer.
The stone was sold without a reserve price, meaning the diamond went to the highest bidder and did not need to meet a minimum threshold, the first time in auction history that a diamond of this calibre has been offered that way.
The tactic can be risky but can also generate a buzz that sellers hope will elevate the final price.
In this case, the seller’s move was “a brave decision that has come back to bite them,” according to Kormind.
Originally a 271-carat rough stone, the gem was discovered in the now-closed Canadian Victor Mine in 2018.
“(The) diamond is the best of the best when it comes to exceptional white diamonds and it is difficult to overstate its rarity and beauty,” said Sotheby’s worldwide jewellery chairman Gary Schuler, ahead of the sale.
In November 2017, the largest diamond ever presented at auction, with more than 163.41 carats, sold in Geneva for more than US$33.8 million, fees and commissions included — a global record in this category.
But it is not a record overall for a diamond: In April 2017, the giant “Pink Star” pink diamond sold for US$71.2 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong.
— Agence France-Presse