The 100.20-carat “Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond” could fetch as much as $25 million when it headlines Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on April 21.
The “Ultimate” — a remarkable D-color, internally flawless stone — joins an elite club of only five comparable-quality 100-plus-carat diamonds to have ever hit the auction block. It’s the only one of the group to feature the classic emerald cut.
The current owner spent more than one year studying, cutting and polishing the original 200-carat rough diamond, which was mined by De Beers in South Africa. It is not unusual for a cutter to forgo 50 percent of the diamond's carat weight to yield a "perfect" stone.
“This 100.20 carat diamond is the definition of perfection,” commented Gary Schuler, Head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York. “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.”
Lisa Hubbard, Chairman of North & South America for Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, called the 100-carat diamond the “rarest object of natural beauty on the market right now” and “the ultimate acquisition.”
“Simply put, it has everything you could ever want from a diamond,” she said. “The classic shape begs to be worn, while the quality puts it in an asset class of its own. The stone gives you so many options – admire it unmounted, wear it as a simple but stunning pendant, or mount it in a designed jewel.”
The per-carat selling price of upper-echelon stones has been on a steep ascent since Sotheby’s auctioned it first 100-carat "perfect" diamond in 1990. At that time, the price was $125,000 per carat. By 2013, the price had risen to $260,000 per carat. Sotheby’s low estimate of $19 million for “Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond” represents a valuation of $190,000 per carat.
April’s headliner will be promoted on a whirlwind month-long tour that will take the stone from Dubai in mid-March to New York in mid-April, with stops in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London and Doha.
The five other 100-plus-carat “perfect” diamonds to be sold at auction are listed below:
• “The Mouawad Splendour” (101.84 carats) is a modified pear-shape diamond that was sold in 1990 at Sotheby’s Geneva for $12.7 million.
• “The Star of Happiness” (100.36 carats) is a rectangular modified brilliant-cut that sold at Sotheby’s Geneva for $11.9 million in 1993.
• “The Star of the Season” (100.10 carats) sports a pear shape and fetched $16.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1995.
• “The Winston Legacy” (101.73 carats) also has a pear shape and generated $26.7 million (a record $262,830 per carat) at Christie’s Geneva in 2013.
• “Spectacular Oval Diamond” (118.28 carats) is an oval brilliant-cut stone that scored a world auction record for a white diamond when it sold for $30.6 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2013.
(Photos courtesy of Sotheby’s.)