Sotheby’s announced that it will offer “a magnificent oval diamond of supreme importance” in its Hong Kong auction of Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite on October 7, which is expected to fetch US$ 28-35 mln, more than the 101.73 carats Winston Legacy, a pear shape, D colour, flawless diamond sold by Christie’s Geneva for US$26.7 mln earlier this year.
The white diamond offered by Sotheby’s is a remarkable 118.28 carat, D colour, flawless, Type IIa stone of excellent polish and excellent symmetry and is the largest D colour flawless diamond ever to appear at auction, as well as the largest oval shaped diamond of its kind ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Only four other white diamonds of this quality over 100 carats have ever been sold at auction, of which Sotheby’s has sold three – the present stone is nearly 20% larger than the first and previously largest ever offered, the 101.84 carat ‘Mouawad Splendour’, sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1990 for $12.8 mln.
In 1993, Sotheby’s sold ‘The Star of Happiness’, a 100.36 carats rectangular shape, D colour, internally flawless diamond for $11.9 mln in Geneva and in 1995 ‘The Star of the Season’, a 100.10 carats pear shape, D colour, internally flawless diamond for $16.4 mln.
“The Magnificent Oval Diamond is the first D colour diamond of this size ever to appear at auction in Asia, a testimony to the importance of Hong Kong as an international jewellery auction centre,” Sotheby’s said in an announcement.
Discovered in 2011 from the deep mines in southern Africa, the 299 carat rough of the Magnificent Oval Diamond is one of the largest and most beautiful diamond roughs found in recent years. Carefully and meticulously worked over a period of months, the resulting stone is estimated to achieve US$28/35 mln (HK$220/280 mln) at auction in October – in excess of the current highest price ever paid for any white diamond at auction.
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