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Collector Nabs 102ct. Diamond for $16M ‘Bargain’

Oval-shaped, D-flawless stone is first of its kind sold without reserve price.
Oct 6, 2020 5:42 AM   By Rapaport News
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A private collector bought a 102-carat, D-flawless diamond for $15.7 million at a special online auction by Sotheby’s Hong Kong on Monday. While the stone was the first high-profile diamond to be offered without a reserve price, observers had predicted a much higher value for the piece.

“The buyer of this diamond has bagged a bargain,” noted Tobias Kormind, managing director of London-based online jeweler 77 Diamonds, who expected the stone to exceed $33.7 million. “In an unprecedented move for this caliber of stone, the seller was prepared to part with this stone without putting a reserve on it, a brave decision that has come back to bite them, achieving a less-than-optimum price.”

The oval-shaped 102.39-carat stone was sold by diamond manufacturer Diacore, which cut the original rough recovered from De Beers’ Victor mine in Canada. It is one of only eight D-flawless or internally flawless diamonds over 100 carats ever sold at auction, of which six have been offered by Diacore.

The stone set a record for a jewel sold online, but Kormind expected other records to fall, basing his projected valuation on a 163.41-carat D-color flawless diamond that sold at Christie’s in 2017 for $33.7 million.

Both Diacore and Sotheby’s are happy with the $153,285 per carat price tag, believing it indicates continued strength in the diamond market.

“This extraordinary gem needed no help from a presale estimate or reserve to reach its rightful price,” said Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia. “We are grateful to Diacore for their trust and confidence in allowing us to offer this diamond without reserve, the result for which testifies not just to the importance of this diamond, but to the market for diamonds more broadly.”

The sale attracted an “enormous” amount of interest, Sotheby’s observed, with bids placed over the phone and online.

The buyer, who hails from Japan, named the stone Maiko Star after his second daughter. In April 2019 he bought an 88.22-carat diamond, which he called Manami Star after his eldest daughter, Sotheby’s noted.

Image: The 102.39-carat diamond. (Sotheby’s)
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Tags: 77 Diamonds, De Beers, Diacore, Maiko Star, Manami Star, Patti Wong, Rapaport News, Sotheby’s, Tobias Kormind, Victor Mine
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