100-carat ‘perfect’ diamond sold for $22.1 million within three minutes

Giant 100-carat diamond
Giant 100-carat diamond
A “perfect” 100-carat diamond sold for $22.1 million within three minutes of bidding starting on Tuesday evening, making it the most expensive colorless diamond ever auctioned in New York.

The large emerald-cut jewel was described as “an internally flawless, type IIa stone”—one of the purest and most valuable type of diamonds—and was the main attraction of the 370 lots on sale in Sotheby’s”Magnificent Jewels” auction.

Ahead of the auction, the diamond was seen fetching between $19 million and $25 million.

The winning bidder took part in the auction via telephone and wanted to remain anonymous, Sotheby’s said.

According to the Sotheby’s, only six “perfect” diamonds weighing over 100 carats have sold at auction in the last 25 years.

“At this impressive scale, diamonds of this exceptional quality—D color and Internally Flawless clarity—are incredibly rare, and are considered ‘perfect’,” the auction house said in a press release on Tuesday.

“What distinguishes the present example within this rarefied league is its beautiful shape: it is the largest perfect diamond with a classic Emerald-cut ever to be offered and sold at auction. It also marks the first 100+ carat perfect diamond sold at auction in North America.”

Lisa Hubbard, chairman of North and South America at Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, said the diamond was “exceptional in every sense of the word, and we were thrilled to see it achieve such a strong result.”

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“The stone captivated people around the world throughout our extensive travels this spring, but it was a particular privilege to offer it at our New York headquarters.”




The 100.20-carat, D color (meaning it is colorless), internally flawless stone is one of just five comparable quality diamonds over 100 carats, a release from Sotheby’s auction said, and is “the largest perfect diamond with a classic Emerald-cut ever to be offered at auction.”

The original rough diamond was more than 200 carats and was mined in South Africa. The current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, spent more than a year studying the diamond and cutting and polishing it to its brilliance.

“The color is whiter than white, it is free of any internal imperfections, and so transparent that I can only compare it to a pool of icy water,” Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s jewelry department in New York said in a release.

Sotheby’s sold its first 100-carat perfect diamond in 1990 in Geneva, Switzerland. The pear shape stone was considered by some to be a bargain at $12.7 million — or $125,295 per carat.

The price per carat for these stones has increased to $260,000, Sotheby’s said in its release, but they expect this diamond will sell for as much as $25 million.

If you’d like to see the stone before buying, the diamond will begin a worldwide tour on March 16 in Dubai, making stops in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London, and Doha, before ending in New York.

The auction is scheduled for April 21.