'Flawless' 100-carat diamond sells for $22 million at Sotheby’s auction

This extraordinary 100-carat perfect diamond in a classic emerald cut was sold by Sotheby’s on April 21st.
Source: Sotheby’s

A 100-carat diamond in a classic emerald cut sold for just over $22 million at Sotheby's auction on Tuesday

After just three minutes of bidding, the final price was $22,090,000, including the buyer's premium. The seller and buyer both wished to remain anonymous, and the winning bid was received over the phone.

The estimate was between $28 - $35 million, giving it an approximate $190,000 per carat valuation.

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This is one of only six existing diamonds—D-color and internally flawless, Type 11a over 100 carats, and only classic emerald-cut white diamond of this color, clarity and size, to ever sell at auction

The original rough stone –weighing over 200 carats – was mined by De Beers in South Africa within the past ten years and is brand new to the market.

Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby's Jewelry, told CNBC's "Power Lunch" last month:

"The color is whiter than white…so transparent I can only compare it to a pool of icy water."

This class of diamonds is considered by many experts as the rarest object of natural beauty on the market.

In 2013, Christie's sold a 101.73 carat, pear-shaped, D-color, flawless, sold for $26.7 million – or $262,830 per carat. The buyer was Swatch Group's Harry Winston division, which dubbed the gem, The Winston Legacy.

The Winston Legacy
Source: Harry Winston | Swatch Group

The appetite for the world's most beautiful gems continues, according to Rahul Kadakia, international head of Christie's Jewelry.

"Just as a great artist is able to 'see' a masterpiece in a block of marble, a perfect diamond is the result of the skill and vision of a master cutter who is able to uncover beauty from a rough gem. Harry Winston acquired the most perfect diamond ever offered for sale at auction. The Winston Legacy continues the tradition of buying and selling only the very best."

Sotheby's Hong Kong continues to holds the world record for this asset class, a 118.28 carat oval brilliant cut D-color, flawless, which sold for $30.6 million dollars to an anonymous buyer.

"The white diamond market has steadily exceeded in value for decades," said Sotheby's spokesperson Darrell Rocha. "Buyers know their money is parked in a safe haven right here."