By Maria Doulton
On the eve of Valentine's Day, Sotheby's jewelry department in London unveiled an unusual and very precious jewel: the 100.20 carat Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond. This D color, Internally Flawless, Type IIA stone is a spectacular specimen of diamond perfection. But even more unusual is the fact that it has been cut in an emerald shape. A diamond of these proportions in this shape is so rare that it is, in fact, the largest emerald-cut diamond ever to be offered at auction.
With an estimate of $19-25 million, each carat is valued at $190,000. The current record price per carat for a diamond is the 101.73 carat Winston Legacy sold by Christie's Geneva in 2013 at $262,830 per carat. The overall record price achieved for a colorless diamond is the Spectacular Oval Diamond of 118.28 carats, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong in 2013 for $30.6 million.
The diamond was cut from a rough of more than 200 carats, discovered in a De Beers mine in South Africa. It took a year of planning and decision-making to arrive at the unusual emerald cut, which shows the full beauty of this stone to its best advantage. The most unforgiving of all the diamond cuts, with its long and large facets, which allow a clear view through the entire stone, makes this a strong contender for the ultimate Valentine's Day gift.
Gary Schuler, Head of Sotheby's Jewelry Department in New York, was in London for the unveiling and explained: "It is not very often that you find a rough that could yield a beautiful emerald cut such as this. We've never had one like this before." The more normal cut for a stone this size would be a pear shape as it could be more easily made into a piece of diamond jewelry. But the quiet elegance and contemporary look of this stone sets it apart.
But Cupids, be warned, you will have to wait until 21 April 2015 to bid for this stone at Sotheby's Auction of Magnificent Jewels sale, and be prepared to bid high as there are only five comparable quality diamonds of this size in the world that have been sold at auction. Here are the other five diamonds of more than 100 carats that have been sold.
The Spectacular Oval Diamond of 118.28 carats sold for $30.6 million by Sotheby's Hong Kong in 2013, and current world record holder for most valuable white diamond ever sold at auction.
The Winston Legacy 101.73 carat pear-shape diamond sold for $26.7 million by Christie's Geneva in 2013.
The Star of the Season 100.10 carat pear-shape diamond sold for $16.5 million at Sotheby's Geneva in 1995.
The Mouwad Splendour 101.84 carat pear-shape diamond sold for $12.7 million at Sotheby's Geneva in 1990.
The Star of Happiness 100.36 carat rectangular modified, brilliant-cut diamond sold for $11.9 million at Sotheby's Geneva in 1993.