Sotheby’s Hong Kong to Auction a 102 Carat Flawless Oval Diamond
September 10, 2020 by EMILI VESILIND

Auction house Sotheby’s is putting an extraordinary gem—a 102.39 ct. flawless oval white diamond—on the block, with bids starting virtually on Tuesday. The stone will be auctioned live on Oct. 5 in Hong Kong.

The D color, internally flawless diamond (pictured) is the second-largest oval diamond of its kind to be offered at auction. The first was the 118.28 carat diamond Sotheby’s Hong Kong sold in 2013 for roughly $30.6 million. Only seven D color internally flawless or flawless white diamonds of more than 100 carats have been sold at auction before this one.

The diamond will be offered as a stand-alone single lot and without a reserve (the winning bid will be the highest bid), which is highly unusual for a diamond of this size and caliber.

The live auction will be preceded by a series of by-appointment-only previews in Beijing, Shanghai, New York, Hong Kong, and Taipei, Taiwan.

Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said in a prepared statement, “Demand has shown tremendous resilience during the first part of the year, and we feel it is now time to let the market speak. Diamonds of this caliber attract interest well beyond the traditional pool of collectors. This innovative sale seems to us the best way to introduce this exceptional diamond to the world in the current circumstances, where travel is restricted, and act as a great indicator of the vitality of the demand.”

Sothebys diamond hands
The 102.39 ct. diamond photographed in a hand for scale (it’s a big stone)
Gary Schuler, Sotheby’s worldwide chairman of jewelry, added: “This stunning diamond is the best of the best when it comes to exceptional white diamonds, and it is difficult to overstate its rarity and beauty. 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 as a Rembrandt self-portrait or a Basquiat.”

The diamond is of exceptional clarity (it’s completely flawless, both internally and externally) and belongs to the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds, known as type IIa. Diamonds in this group are the most chemically pure type of diamond and often have exceptional optical transparency.

The diamond was unearthed in the Victor Mine in Ontario, Canada, in 2018. Following its discovery, the rough was cut and polished over a year by Diacore.