It looks like Sotheby’s will be celebrating its 40th year in Asia with not one — but two — record-breaking diamonds at its Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction October 7.
We previously reported that “The Premier Blue,” a 7.59-carat round flawless fancy vivid blue diamond, would be headlining the event. Yesterday we learned the newsworthy blue diamond would be sharing top billing with an astonishing egg-sized gem that Sotheby’s is calling “the greatest white diamond ever to appear at auction.”
The as-yet-unnamed D-color flawless 118.28-carat oval diamond carries a pre-sale estimate of $28 million to $35 million. If it achieves only the low estimate, it will break the current record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a white diamond. The current record holder is the Winston Legacy, a 101.73-carat D-Flawless pear-shape gem that was sold at Christie’s in May for $26.7 million.
The Premier Blue carries a pre-sale estimate of $19 million. If the internally flawless 7.59-carat gem is sold for that amount, it will establish a new auction record at $2.5 million per carat, the highest per-carat price ever paid for any diamond.
The unnamed white diamond was revealed at a Manhattan media event yesterday. A newcomer to the auction scene, the diamond was discovered as a 299-carat rough in an undisclosed southern African nation in 2011. The resulting 118.28-carat finished product is a sight to behold. Sotheby's calls it the greatest white diamond to be offered at auction in terms of size, quality, polish and color. The auction winner will also get the privilege of naming the diamond.
“We have made a concerted effort to make this a wonderful sale to celebrate Sotheby’s 40 years in Asia,” Chin Yeow Quek, the chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division in Asia, told JCKonline.com. Quek added that he hopes the October sale — bolstered by its two headliners — will set a record for the largest jewelry auction ever in terms of total sales.
Three other white diamonds weighing more than 100 carats have been auctioned by Sotheby's — in 1990, 1993 and 1995.