Today, Sotheby’s announced that a rare Emerald-cut 100.2-carat perfect diamond will lead its April 21 Magnificent Jewels sale. The stone is just one of six diamonds over 100 carats and comparable-quality ever to be sold at auction, and is estimated between $19 and $25 million.
“The size is what makes it rare and beautiful,” said Frank Everett, Sotheby’s vice president of sales for jewelry, to the Observer. (It is the largest perfect Emerald-cut to be sold at auction.) “It could be considered a kind of object of art. When you hold it in your hand it’s such a unique experience—you can see the mastery of the cut and the entire geometry.”
Wearing the diamond as jewelry won’t increase or decrease its value, assured Mr. Everett.
The stone came to Sotheby’s from an anonymous owner who spent over a year studying and cutting it before bringing it to the house. Mr. Everett explained that it was recently mined sometime during the last decade by De Beers—which enforces strict ethics policies in order to guarantee only conflict-free stones—and originated in Southern Africa. The original un-cut, rough stone clocked in at over 200 carats.
“This 100.20 carat diamond is the definition of perfection. 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,” said Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s Jewelry department in New York in a press release.
The stone is a truly unique one—diamonds like this aren’t pulled from the Earth very often. While its size impresses, two other characteristics set it apart: its classic, modern emerald cut (arguably the most desirable cut there is) and its “perfect” quality. Breaking down the industry jargon, it is a Type IIa stone (free of any imperfections), D color (the whitest, clearest there is), and internally flawless (no blemishes visible under high magnification). A rare find, indeed.
Lisa Hubbard, Sotheby’s International Jewelry division chairman of North and South America, said in a statement, “The rarest object of natural beauty on the market right now, this 100-carat diamond could be considered the ultimate acquisition.”
Compared to the five other 100-carat diamonds to be sold at auction, it is the only one of Emerald-cut, making it all the more desirable. In 1990, Sotheby’s Geneva sold the first 100-carat perfect diamond, a 101.84-carat modified Pear-shape stone that sold for $12.7 million. The other stones include: a rectangular modified brilliant-cut 100.36-carat diamond sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1993 for $11.9 million, a 100.10-carat Pear-shape diamond sold for $16.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1995, a 101.73-carat Pear-shape diamond sold at Christie’s Geneva in 2013 for $26.7 million, and a 118.28-carat Oval Brilliant-cut diamond that sold for $30.6 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2013 and holds the world auction record for a white diamond.
Sotheby’s will show the diamond in Dubai, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London, and Doha before it returns for a New York exhibition opening April 17.