1. Gem of a show

Gem of a show

A rare emerald-cut 100-carat diamond is expected to fetch a whopping $25 million at an auction in New York this week

Published: April 19, 2015 12:09 AM

An internally ‘flawless’ 100-carat diamond was on display in Dubai recently, ahead of being sold at an auction on April 21 by Sotheby’s, where it is said to fetch up to $25 million.

The stone, which was discovered a decade ago in the De Beers mines of South Africa, will go under the hammer at the ‘Magnificent Jewels’ sale in New York, the auction house said. The current owner of the diamond spent more than a year studying, cutting and polishing the rough diamond before delivering the stone to the auction house.

Sotheby’s sold the first 100-carat perfect diamond at an auction in 1990. The price per carat for these diamonds has increased from $125,000 to $260,000 from the first auction until the most recent in 2013, the auction house said.

One of five diamonds weighing more than 100 carats that have surfaced on the market over the past 25 years, the jewel’s estimated sale price is between $19 million and $25 million, as per Sotheby’s.

The auction house describes it as the “ultimate emerald-cut diamond, weighing 100.20 carats, D-colour, internally flawless” and “unlike any diamond offered at auction before”.

Frank Everett, Sotheby’s vice-president of sales for jewellery, said the diamond was “for anyone who really desires the best of the best”. He added the diamond could be worn as “a pendant on a necklace, or a cuff bracelet or a ring” although someone might buy it “to admire it just as an object in its own right”.

“In terms of size and general shape, we have compared the diamond to a 9-volt battery,” Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s jewellery department in New York said. “What makes this stone so striking and rare is the combination of its impressive scale, the elegant shape, and the purity and crispness of the stone,” Schuler said. “The limpid quality that you get out of a type IIa stone is exceptional in its own right, but at this scale and in this cut, it’s extraordinary,” he added.

It is one of the rarest and largest stones that exist. It could join the list of five other diamonds measuring more than 100 carats to have ever been sold at an auction.

A total of 368 lots will be on offer at the auctions, including an array of jewels incorporating rare and exceptional high-quality coloured and colourless diamonds; superb coloured gemstones like sapphires, emeralds and rubies, including several stunning Kashmir blue sapphires; signed jewels from leading jewellery houses, including rare and iconic art deco jewels by Cartier; and jewels with celebrated provenance, such as those from the estate of Mary Lily Kenan Flagler, wife of Henry Flagler, the American industrialist.

Other colourless diamond highlights include a “highly important platinum and diamond pendant necklace”, with a pre-sale estimate of $3.8-4.2 million placed on it. The pendant to this necklace is a 52.26-carat, pear-shaped, D-color, SI1-clarity diamond, suspended from a platinum chain, collet-set with eight circular-cut diamonds. The 16-inch necklace is adjustable to 17 inches. The lot is accompanied by a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) report certifying that the 52.26-carat, pear-shaped diamond is D-colour and SI1-clarity with excellent polish and symmetry.

A magnificent platinum and diamond ring—the property of a prominent collector, with a pre-sale estimate of $2.8-3.2 million is another colourless diamond highlight of the sale. The platinum ring is set with a D-colour, internally flawless, oval-shaped diamond weighing 22.30 carats. A GIA report accompanying the lot certifies that the 22.30-carat, oval-shaped diamond is D-colour and internally flawless, with a supplemental letter stating that the diamond has been determined to be Type IIa, which confirms the D-colour grade of the diamond.

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