An extraordinary 100.20-carat “perfect diamond” in a classic emerald cut with D color and internally flawless clarity sold for $22.1 million at Sotheby’s New York sale of Magnificent Jewels on April 21, the highest price ever achieved for a colorless diamond auctioned in New York.
The stone is also a Type IIa diamond, a rare subgroup of diamonds that includes less than 2 percent of the world’s diamond production. Stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency.
“This 100.20-carat diamond is the definition of perfection,” said Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York. “The color is whiter than white, it is free of any internal imperfections and so transparent that I can only compare it to a pool of icy water. It is the first true emerald-cut diamond over 100 carats to be offered at auction—the most classic of cuts, quietly elegant and very contemporary.”
De Beers mined the original rough, weighing more than 200 carats, in southern Africa. More than one year was spent studying, cutting and polishing the rough diamond to produce the spectacular stone.
Including this diamond, only six perfect-quality diamonds weighing more than 100 carats have sold at auction in the last 25 years. The other five are:
The Spectacular Oval Diamond, a 118.28-carat oval-shaped brilliant-cut diamond with D color and flawless clarity, which sold for $30.6 million, or $258,708 per carat, at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2013, setting a world auction record price for a colorless diamond.
The Winston Legacy, a 101.73-carat pear-shaped diamond with D color and flawless clarity, which sold for $26.7 million, or $262,830 per carat, at Christie’s Geneva in 2013.
The Star of the Season, a 100.10-carat pear-shaped diamond with D color and flawless clarity, which sold for $16.5 million, or $165,322 per carat, at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1995.
The Star of Happiness, a 100.36-carat rectangular modified brilliant-cut diamond with D color and flawless clarity, which sold for $11.9 million, or $118,397 per carat, at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1993.
The Mouawad Splendour, 101.84-carat modified pear-shaped diamond with D color and flawless clarity, which sold for $12.7 million, or $125,295 per carat, at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1990.
Provenance, rarity and signed jewels also drove the successful sale results. The exquisite Baron de Rothschild Necklace
, made by Cartier in the 1920s, was sold for $2.6 million, four Harry Winston jewels from the Spectacular Bid Collection
brought $1.3 million and the 35-carat Flagler Emerald
, eagerly sought by 11 bidders, soared to $2.8 million.
Also featured was an impressive Kashmir sapphire and diamond brooch formerly from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon that was designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Additional highlights included rare Art Deco jewels from Cartier, a suite of Harry Winston sapphire and diamond jewels, a selection of Art Moderne pieces and numerous top-quality fancy-colored diamonds and precious gemstones.
This sale of Magnificent Jewels achieved $65.1 million, marking a new record total for a jewelry auction at Sotheby’s New York.