This autumn, Sotheby’s will offer for sale one of the earth’s rarest and most coveted wonders – a highly important 102.39-carat D Colour Flawless Oval Diamond.
Only seven D colour Internally Flawless or Flawless white diamonds over 100 carats have been sold at auction, making this the eighth. In an unprecedented move, the diamond will be offered ‘without reserve’, meaning that, the winning bid is the highest bid, regardless of its amount or the intrinsic value of the diamond itself. This approach marks the first time in auction history that a diamond of this calibre – or indeed any work of art or object of this importance and inherent value – has been offered this way.
This 102.39-carat diamond will be offered in a stand-alone, single lot live auction on 5 October 2020, with bidding open online from 15 September.
Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, comments: “It has been a few deeply transformative months for the auction market. We have been at the forefront of change in the Fine Art and watch categories, with new, pioneering auction formats, and this season, we want to extend this approach to our jewellery sales. The conjuncture offers many opportunities to do things differently: demand has shown tremendous resilience during the first part of the year and we feel it is now time to let the market speak. Diamonds of this calibre attract interest well beyond the traditional pool of collectors. This innovative sale seems to us the best way to introduce this exceptional diamond to the world in the current circumstances where travel is restricted and act as a great indicator of the vitality of the demand.”
Gary Schuler, Worldwide Chairman of Jewelry, says: “This stunning diamond is the best of the best when it comes to exceptional white diamonds and it is difficult to overstate its rarity and beauty. Never before has the appreciation for world-class diamonds been so acute in the world and more and more people have come to understand that something billions of years old and of the size of a lollipop can store as much value a Rembrandt self-portrait or a Basquiat. The wider comprehension that as the hardest material on earth, this wonder of nature will outlive us for millions of more years, is certainly another factor for the strength of the demand.”
THE ULTIMATE PERFECTION
Exceedingly rare, 100-carat diamonds have achieved a mythical status. Only seven other D colour Internally Flawless or Flawless white diamonds over 100 carats have appeared at auction, of which Sotheby’s has sold five. This 102.39-carat diamond is the second-largest oval diamond of its kind to be offered at auction. It is only surpassed by the record-breaking 118.28-carat diamond sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2013.
Perfect according to every critical criterion, this gem has achieved the highest rankings under each of the standards by which the quality of a diamond is judged (‘the four Cs’). The diamond is D colour (the highest grade for a white diamond); of exceptional clarity (it is completely flawless, both internally and externally), and has excellent polish and symmetry, the most sought-after grading for the oval shape category. This gem belongs to the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds, known as Type IIa. Diamonds in this group are the most chemically pure type of diamond and often have exceptional optical transparency.
FROM ROUGH DIAMOND TO THE PERFECT GEM
Finding a rough diamond that finishes as a polished jewel of over 100 carats and of gem quality is an incredibly rare discovery. The 102.39 diamond was cut from a 271-carat rough, discovered in the Victor Mine, Ontario, Canada in 2018.
Following its discovery, the rough was cut and polished over a year by Diacore, world-leading specialists in sourcing, cutting and polishing extraordinary diamonds, to bring out its best brilliance, fire and scintillation.