White Hot Diamonds at Sotheby's this Spring
In February this year, Sotheby’s Diamonds, a retail boutique specialising in the world’s finest diamonds, unveiled an extraordinarily rare 102.34 carat white diamond. The only known round brilliant-cut diamond over 100 carats that is perfect according to every critical criterion (see 4 Cs below), the stone – described by Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds, as a “masterpiece of nature” – has now found a buyer. While the identity of the new owner cannot be revealed, the stone was purchased for a price per carat, which far exceeds that for any colourless diamond sold at auction (the current auction record price per carat for a white diamond is US$260,252, set at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in 2013).
Coinciding with the sale of this exceptional stone, Sotheby’s has also sourced – for sale at auction in Geneva this May – two highly impressive white stones, each one weighing over 50 carats, and both of the same extraordinary colour and clarity as the 102.34 carat stone sold privately through Sotheby’s diamonds.
The first of the two stones is a round, brilliant cut diamond which, at 51.71 carats, ranks as the second largest D Flawless brilliant-cut diamond ever to have appeared at auction. The second stone, similarly perfect, weighs 50.39 carats but is oval, rather than round; it too is the second largest D Flawless diamond of its shape ever to have come to auction.
The two diamonds will be highlights of Sotheby’s flagship sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva on May 15. The round brilliant-cut diamond is estimated at CHF 7.8 – 9 million (US$ 8.2 – 9.5 m / GBP 6 – 7 m / EUR 6.7 – 7.7 m) and the oval diamond will be offered with an estimate of CHF 7 – 7.6 million (US$ 7.3 – 8 m / GBP 5.3 – 5.8 m / EUR 6 – 6.5 m).
Speaking about the sale of the 102.34 carat diamond, Patti Wong, Founder and Chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds, said: “When the new custodian of this stone first beheld it, they were – like everyone else who has seen it – completely captivated. It is hard to believe that something so ancient (these stones are as old as the earth itself) can be so alive, so full of fire and blinding brilliance. A rarity in the mythical world of 100-carat stones, this diamond is a wonder of nature and of man’s ability to shape nature’s creations into an object of ultimate beauty”
Looking ahead to the Geneva sale, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, commented, “Having witnessed the enormous effect of the 102.34 carat stone on those who saw it, we are now thrilled to bring to the market two more truly exceptional stones, both of which are among the largest, highest quality white diamonds ever to come to auction. Diamonds like these have always captivated collectors and connoisseurs alike and continue to do so today.”