A 102.39 carat D Flawless oval diamond auctioned by Sotheby’s Hong Kong has sold for what experts call a ‘bargain price’ of US$15.7 million.
The sale has broken the world record for the highest value ever bid for a jewel in an online auction. The highest price previously paid for a jewel in an online auction was $2.1 million at Christie’s in July for a 28.86 carat diamond.
The 102.39-carat diamond sold by Sotheby’s is described as “perfect according to every critical criteria”. Only the eighth diamond weighing more than 100 carats of D colour to have ever appeared at auction, it was offered without reserve.
During the current pandemic, the average price of online purchases has soared – in April, Sotheby’s sold a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet for more than £1.3 million, and in July, Christie’s broke this record for a jewel purchased online at auction, when a 28.86-carat diamond was snapped up online for over $2.1 million.
The 102.39 diamond sold in Hong Kong was cut from a 271-carat rough discovered in the Victor Mine, Ontario, Canada in 2018. Following its discovery, the rough was cut and polished over a year by Diacore, world-leading specialists in sourcing, cutting and polishing extraordinary diamonds, to bring out its best brilliance, fire and scintillation.
Tobias Kormind, Managing Director of 77 Diamonds, an online seller of diamonds and jewellery with appointment-only showrooms in Mayfair, Manchester, Frankfurt and Berlin, said: “The buyer of this diamond has bagged a bargain! During this time of global economic uncertainty, unseen for a century, US$15.7 million (£12.1m) is a steal for this exquisite 102.39 D Flawless diamond.
“Savvy investors are currently falling over themselves to acquire alternative safe haven assets like diamonds, property and gold. With valuations of some stocks and shares overheated, others showing signals of distress, income-generating assets providing low to negative yields and high unemployment very much on the cards, demand for alternative assets remains buoyant and resilient.”
He continued: “I’m disappointed the final price wasn’t higher. In an unprecedented move for this calibre of stone, the seller was prepared to part with this stone without putting a reserve on it (a minimum price below which they are not prepared to sell), a brave decision that has come back to bite them, achieving a less than optimum price.
“Despite this, the Hong Kong location of this sale confirms Asia’s position as an enduring powerhouse of new wealth creation and luxury demand, which has weathered Covid-19 better than the West.
“The success of the online format asserts the advent of a new luxury normal, where the rarest items in the world will increasingly be offered up for online bidding, without buyers having first seen and touched them in the flesh.”