Sotheby’s has another blockbuster diamond on its hands.
A 102.39-carat D color flawless diamond is coming up for sale in a single-lot auction in Hong Kong on October 5th. This marks only the eighth diamond of its kind to ever come up for sale at auction. Just seven D color internally flawless or flawless white diamonds over 100 carats have been sold since 1990, and Sotheby’s has auctioned off five of those. But so far, Christie’s still takes the cake for the highest-priced diamond of this variety, thanks to the sale of a rectangular D color flawless Type IIa diamond weighing 163.41 carats, which sold in 2017 in Geneva for $33.7 million. Sotheby’s latest entry, however, comes with an added bonus–it will be offered without reserve, which means the gem will go to the highest bidder, regardless of the price or actual value of the stone. It is the first time a stone of this magnitude will be offered in this auction format.
The 102.39-carat diamond was discovered in the Victor Mine in Ontario, Canada two years ago. Before it was cut by Diacore, a specialist in sourcing, cutting and polishing diamonds, the rough stone weighed 271 carats. It took over a year to cut and polish the stone to perfection. The Victor Mine was discovered in 1987, but wasn’t opened until 2008. It was Canada’s first economically viable diamond deposit and the first in Ontario. In just a decade, 8.1 million carats of diamonds were uncovered in the mine. Production ceased in 2019 and by the end of last year, almost 40 percent of the landscape had been revegetated in a program designed to help the site’s flora to grow back.
Getting your hands on the Victor Mine D will be a truly unique, possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “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,” said Gary Schuler, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s. It’s also one of the few high-value collectibles, other than watches, that is easily transportable and concealable—and that’s just the kind of collectible that those with the deepest pockets want to acquire when the world is in crisis.
Bidding begins online on September 15th, with the live auction taking place on October 5th at 9 P.M. Hong Kong time, following Sotheby’s Modern Art Evening Sale.