The largest flawless briolette diamond ever to appear at auction set a new record last night when an anonymous bidder paid $11.1 million at Christie’s Hong Kong, Reuters reported. The 75.36-carat, D-color gem narrowly edged out the previous record holder — a 10.48-carat fancy deep-blue briolette diamond that sold at rival Sotheby’s for $10.8 million this past November.
"This marks the third record-breaking diamond result at Christie’s in New York, Geneva, and now Hong Kong, all in one season," said Vickie Sek, director of the Jewellery & Jadeite Department, Christie's Asia. "Collectors continue to show immense depth when bidding for great gems and masterpieces in the world of jewelry auctions.”
Despite the record, the briolette diamond failed to reach its pre-sale high estimate of $12.5 million, but easily surpassed the pre-sale low estimate of $8.5 million.
With a symmetrical shape that resembles a water drop, the 75.36-carat briolette dangles from an elaborate pendant necklace that has a marquise-cut purplish-pink diamond suspended above the briolette. Stations of smaller briolettes adorn the 18-karat white and rose gold adjustable neck chain.
An auction spokesperson described the diamond as “perfect,” and backed up that assessment with a Gemological Institute of America evaluation that rated the stone Type IIa, the GIA’s top quality grade.
In order to achieve this exceptionally rare premium rating, cutter William Goldberg started with a 160.5 carat rough diamond and sacrificed more than half the stone’s weight in a painstaking and meticulous cutting process.
The sale of the flawless briolette was part of Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale on Tuesday, which featured more than 290 lots and generated a total of $82.9 million.