A perfect 118-carat D-flawless oval diamond sold for $30.6 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction in Hong Kong yesterday, setting a new record for the highest price ever paid for a white diamond. Sotheby’s had called it “the greatest white diamond ever to appear at auction,” and the egg-sized gem certainly lived up to its pre-show hype.
Flopping at the same auction was the Premier Blue, a 7.59-carat internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond that failed in its bid to establish a record for the highest per-carat price ever paid for any diamond.
The blue diamond, which is believed to be the largest of its type ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America, could not meet its reserve and went unsold when bidding petered out at $16.1 million, according to the South China Morning Post. Sotheby’s had estimated it would sell for $19 million, or $2.5 million per carat.
The Associated Press reported that the 118-carat white diamond was sold during a six-minute exchange that came down to a battle between two telephone bidders. The winner was described as a “private collector” who wished to remain anonymous. The seller was also unidentified.
The $30.6 million selling price set a new record for a white diamond, edging out 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 flawless oval diamond weighed an astounding 299 carats when it was discovered in its rough form two years ago in an African mine.
The auction record for the highest price ever paid at auction for any jewel may be crushed next month when Sotheby’s hosts an ultra-rare 59.60-carat pink diamond at its Geneva sale. The gem is expected to fetch at least $60 million, which should handily displace the current record holder — a fancy intense pink diamond weighing 24.8 carats that Laurence Graff purchased in 2010 for $46 million.