$30.6 Million Dollar record belongs to a Flawless 118 carat oval diamond

October 12th, 2013 by Noam Flint

Hong Kong is quickly becoming an epicenter of diamond sales, and that was punctuated by the most recent headline-making auction held there. During a Sotheby’s sale in Hong Kong, occurring Oct. 7, the auction house moved a one-of-a-kind white diamond that attracted an astonishing amount of attention, as well as an impressive final asking price.

Flawless Oval Diamond World RecordFlawless 118 carat Oval Diamond sets Record

Largest diamond ever sold

The star of the recent Sotheby’s auction was a white diamond weighing in at a massive 118 carats. Originally mined in Africa two years ago, the egg-sized gem is a flawless white oval that was 299 carats before cutting and polishing brought it to its current size. Those measurements make it the largest and most significant diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.

Grading Huge Diamond Can you imagine grading such a HUGE diamond?

Sotheby’s had predicted that the diamond would sell for anywhere from $28 million to $35 million. After an intense bidding war between two buyers, both of whom were corresponding with the auction house via phone, the final price came in at $27.3 million. With the commission, the total rises to $30.6 million. That is still well short of the record price for a jewel, which was set in 2010 when a fancy intense pink diamond weighing 24.8 carats sold for $46 million.

Despite the popularity and success of this white diamond, a much-hyped colored diamond that was also on the auction block at Sotheby’s failed to sell. That stone, which was classified as a flawless, round, vivid blue diamond, was expected to command around $19 million in the sale (and we actually expected for more than 20). The 7.59 carat Premiere Blue, didn’t find a new home, but it’s doubtful the auction house is worried, as colored diamonds are quickly becoming one of the most sought-after items on the market.

Record sales for Sotheby’s

The sale of the white diamond helped to propel Sotheby’s to the most successful Hong Kong auction yet. A total of 330 jewelry lots drew in $95 million, and while that was less than what was predicted due to the no-sale of the blue diamond, it still contributed to a successful Asian auction for Sotheby’s.

Hong Kong has, in the last few years, pulled itself up alongside Geneva and New York as one of the three major selling centers at auction [for diamonds]

Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia and an international diamond expert, told the Associated Press.

As jewelry lovers throughout Asia continue investing in colored diamonds, the impressive sales and intense bidding wars should only continue to grow more prevalent.