he most spectacular item at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong Sale of Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite to be held on April 2, 2019, will be an 88.22-carat, D Colour, Flawless, Type IIa, the oval brilliant diamond with an estimated price of US$ 11.2-12.7 million.
The diamond has been described by Sotheby’s as being “perfect according to every critical criterion” and is one of only three oval diamonds of over 50 carats to appear at auction in living memory, and the largest to be auctioned in over five years. Earlier a 118 ct D colour, flawless Type IIA and another 50.39 carat stone, both oval-shaped, featured at auctions in 2013 and 2018 respectively.
The 242-carat rough stone which yielded the 88.22-carat polished diamond was discovered in Botswana in the mine of Jwaneng, a mine owned in partnership by De Beers and the government of Botswana and known for producing roughs of the highest quality. Following its discovery, the rough was cut and polished over a period of intense months to produce a symmetrical and striking oval brilliant diamond.
Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said: “When you think that one ton of mined earth yields less than a carat of diamond, and that high-quality diamonds over 10 carats are a rarity, the discovery of a 242-carat rough, of gem quality and exceptional size, is nothing short of a miracle. The perfect 88.22-carat diamond is a summary of everything: a wonder of nature, a masterpiece resulting from man’s ability to shape the hardest material on earth into an object of ultimate beauty and the most concentrated form of wealth, as stated by Pliny the Elder almost 2000 years ago. Sotheby’s Hong Kong has had the privilege to bring to the market some of the most important colourless diamonds in the past decade and we look forward to presenting this treasure to the world.”
Describing the stone, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman, International Jewellery Division, said: “For those who have had the chance to see the diamond, one adjective comes back: “breathtaking”. Barely any diamonds of this weight are known to possess the same exceptional qualities of purity and perfection as this remarkable stone which is so full of fire and blinding brilliance.”