The 102.34 carat D colour Flawless Type IIa diamond was unveiled in London on 8th February 2018. Unlike other important stones, it will not be auctioned but sold through Sotheby’s Diamonds, the retail arm of the company with boutiques in London, Hong Kong and New York.
Sotheby's Diamonds bills the as yet unnamed stone as: 'the rarest white diamond ever to come to market'. According to them is also the only known round brilliant diamond over 100-carats with perfect critical criteria for colour, clarity, cut and carat making it the largest, round, D, Flawless diamond for sale.
Sotheby's Diamonds is able to make this claim as unlike the other record-breaking white diamonds of over 100 carats, this is the only one in this shape. Larger D colour, Flawless, Type IIa diamonds in other cuts have been auctioned in the past four years achieving records in emerald, oval and pear shapes.
Interesting to note that the stone has been deemed by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) to be a Type IIa, a sub-group of diamonds that stand out for their extreme chemical purity and lack of nitrogen, giving them a greater clarity often referred to as ‘limpid’ or more quaintly before official grading as ‘of the first water’. Only 2% of diamonds are Type IIa including the Koh-i-Noor and the Cullinan 1, both stars of the British Crown Jewels.
The GIA has been conducting research into Type IIa diamonds, one of which is the recently sold de GRISOGONO Creation 1, a 163.41-carat diamond set into an emerald necklace. Unlike Type I diamonds, it is believed that large Type IIas historically associated with India’s near-mythical Golconda mines, were formed deeper in the earth at a depth of 360-750kms as opposed to 200kms for normal diamonds.
The 425-carat rough was found at the Jwaneng mine in Botswana that belongs jointly to De Beers and the Government of Botswana and is one of the richest diamond mines in the world. Cutting and polishing was entrusted to Diacore in Johannesburg and New York.
Sotheby’s Diamonds has not given an estimate nor is it known if the final price will be revealed. The most recent 100-carat plus D, Flawless Type IIa to be auctioned is the de GRISOGONO Creation 1, a 163.41-carat diamond - mentioned above - and it holds the world record for the most valuable white D Flawless diamond ever auctioned. In November 2017 Christie’s sold it for US$ 33.7 million or US$206,266 per carat. It was set into a lavish emerald and diamond necklace, which added to the final hammer price, making it hard to extract the real value of the stone alone.
In spite of this, as the Sotheby’s diamond is some 60 carats smaller, it is unlikely this record-breaking price will be beaten. However, a higher price per carat could be achieved given the rare nature of round brilliant cuts of this size and quality.
What's for sure is that it will not topple the reigning record holder for the world's most valuable diamond, the CTF 59.60-carat Pink Star that sold for $71.2 million and renamed the CTF Diamond by it's new owners Chow Tai Fook, the Hong Kong jewellery giant. Watch video here.
See our list below of the biggest and most valuable white diamonds to be sold at auction. How much do you think the diamond will sell for?
Top 7 most valuable white diamonds in the world to February 2018
1. $ 33.7 million - 'de GRISOGONO Creation 1', 163.41-carat D Flawless, Type IIa Sold November 2017 by Christie’s Geneva. Price per carat: $206,266. Read more here.
2. $30.8 million - 'Oval diamond', 118.28 carats, D Flawless Type IIa. Sold October 2013 by Sotheby’s Hong Kong. Price per carat:$260,252. Watch video here.
3. $26.8 million - 'The Winston Legacy', 101.73 carats, D Flawless, Type IIa. Sold May 2013 by Chrstie’s Geneva. Price per carat: $254,400. – Read more here.
4. $22.1 million - 'The Ultimate Emerald Cut', 100.20 carats, D, Internally Flawless, Type IIa. Sold April 2015 by Sotheby’s New York. Price per carat: $220,459. Read more here.
5. $16.4 million - 'The Star of the Season', 101.10-carat, D colour, Internally Flawless. Sold in May 1995 by Sotheby’s Geneva. Price per carat: $164,223.
6. $12.8 million - 'The Mouawad Splendour', 101.84-carat, D colour, Internally Flawless. Sold in November 1990 Sotheby’s Geneva. Price per carat: $125,295.
7. $ 11.9 million - 'The Star of Happiness', 100.36 carats, D colour, Internally Flawless. Sold in November 1993 at Sotheby’s Geneva. Price per carat: $118,397.
The 163.41-carat de GRISGONO Creation diamond holds the world record for the most valuable D colour, Flawless diamond when it sold for $33.7 million at Christie’s in Geneva on 14 November 2017. Far larger than the Sotheby's 102.34-carats, it will likely retain it's number one slot in the record books.
The D colour, flawless, Type IIA 118.28ct Oval diamond sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong in October 2013 entered the record books twice, becoming both the highest price ever paid for a colourless diamond and the largest diamond ever to go under the hammer.
In May 2013, Harry Winston purchased a 101.73ct pear-shaped diamond known as the '101' at Christie's in Geneva for US$26.7 million. It held the world record for the most valuable colourless diamond ever sold at auction until a D colour, flawless, Type IIA 118.28ct Oval diamond went under the hammer at Sotheby's Hong Kong five months later.
Sold in April 2015, the Ultimate Emerald cut is 100.20 carats D colour, but only Internally Flawless so therefore less valuable than a Flawless diamond. It sold in Sotheby’s New York 21 for US$ 22.1 million or US$220,459 per carat and is the 4th most valuable diamond ever sold at auction.
The 101.10-carat Star of the Season pear-shaped diamond D colour, Internally Flawless sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in May 1995 for US$ 16.4 million or US$164,223 per carat.
The 101.84-carat Mouawad Splendour diamond of D colour, Internally Flawless grade sold for US$12.8 million (US$125,295 per carat) at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 1990.
The Star of Happiness at 100.36 carats, D colour, Internally Flawless diamond sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 1993 for US$ 11.9 million or US$118,397 per carat.
Exterior of Sotheby’s auction house in London on Bond Street where the Sotheby’s Diamonds boutique is located.
The 102.34 carat D colour Flawless Type IIa diamond is, according to Sotheby’s diamonds, rarest white diamond ever to come to the market. It will not be auctioned but sold through Sotheby’s Diamonds, the retail arm of the company.
This 102.34 carat diamond is the largest D Flawless brilliant cut diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
No estimate has been given by Sotheby’s Diamonds who will sell the 102.34 carat diamond is the largest D Flawless brilliant cut diamond.
According to Sotheby’s Diamonds, this is the only known round brilliant diamond over 100-carats with perfect critical criteria for colour, clarity, cut and carat.