In a press release dated February 13, 2015, Sotheby’s New York announced the unveiling of “The Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond,” a 100-carat perfect diamond in a classic emerald-cut, unlike any white diamond offered before at a public auction. This remarkable 100.20-carat, D-color, Internally Flawless, emerald-cut, Type IIa diamond will be the main highlight of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction to be held in New York on April 21, 2015. A pre-sale estimate of US$19-25 million has been placed on this extremely rare diamond.
D-color diamonds are rare Type IIa diamonds, that constitute only about 1-2% of all naturally occurring diamonds. They are categorized as Type II, as these diamonds do not contain detectable quantities of nitrogen. Type II diamonds that contain boron atoms as impurities instead of nitrogen, and impart a blue color to these diamonds are categorized as Type IIb. Type II diamonds that do not contain any form of impurities that can impart color to the diamonds are categorized as Type IIa. A very small percentage of Type IIa diamonds can undergo structural distortions in their molecules during their formation, which can impart rare fancy colors to the diamonds such as pink, red, purple, brown etc. They constitute only about 0.1% of all naturally occurring diamonds. Hence most of the Type IIa diamonds (1-2%) are chemically pure and structurally perfect, and lack all factors that can impart color to the diamonds. Such chemically pure and structurally perfect Type IIa diamonds are absolutely colorless and are sometimes referred to in superlatives such as “whiter than white,” “brighter than bright,” “purest of the pure,” ‘diamonds of the purest water” etc. Such diamonds fall under the grades D to F, and are referred to as top-color diamonds. Thus the 100.20-carat, emerald-cut, internally flawless diamond is a rare D-color or top-color diamond. The rare D-color combined with an enormous weight of over 100 carats and the internally flawless clarity, and the classic emerald-cut makes this diamond an exceptionally rare and unique stone indeed !!!
The “Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond” joins an elite group of just five comparable quality diamonds, all over 100 carats in weight and D-color, Internally Flawless/Flawless clarity, pear-shape/rectangular-brilliant/oval-brilliant cut diamonds, that was sold for staggering amounts at Sotheby’s/Christies auctions since year 1990.
The first such diamond sold was the “Mouawad Splendour” a 101.84-carat, modified pear-shape, D-color, Internally Flawless diamond that sold for US$12.7 million or US$125,295 per carat at a Sotheby’s Geneva auction in 1990.
The second diamond was “The Star of Happiness” a 100.36-carat, rectangular modified brilliant-cut, D-color, Internally Flawless diamond that sold for US$11.9 million or US$118,397 per carat, also at a Sotheby’s Geneva auction in 1993.
The third diamond was “The Star of the Season” a 100.10 carat, pear-shape, D-color, Internally Flawless diamond that sold for US$16.5 million or US$165,322 per carat, also at a Sotheby’s Geneva auction in 1995.
The fourth diamond was “The Winston Legacy” a 101.73-carat, pear-shape, D-color, Flawless diamond that sold for US$26.7 million or US$262,830 per carat, at a Christie’s Geneva auction in 2013.
The fifth diamond was “The Spectacular Oval Diamond” a 118.28-carat, oval brilliant-cut, D-color, Flawless diamond that sold for US$30.6 million or US$258,708 per carat, at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction in 2013.
What distinguishes the “Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond” among this elite-group of comparable quality diamonds is its beautiful shape. This diamond is the largest perfect diamond with a classic Emerald-Cut ever to be offered at an auction. The rare and modern shape gives the diamond an unforgettable presence, whether it is worn as a jewel or admired on its own.
A study of the above statistics shows, that since 1990 when Sotheby’s sold the 101.84-carat Mouwad Splendour diamond, the first over 100-carat perfect white diamond, at an auction, the price-per-carat of such diamonds have more than doubled, from a mere US$125,000 in 1990 to over US$260,000 per carat, based on the staggering US$26.7 million recorded by the 101.73-carat Winston Legacy diamond in 2013.
The 100.20-carat “Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond” was cut and polished from a rough diamond weighing over 200 carats, mined by De Beers in Southern Africa. The owner of the diamond spent over one year studying the diamond and cutting and polishing it before delivering the spectacular stone, appropriately christened the”Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond.”
Commenting on the unveiling of the diamond Gary Schuler, Head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York, said, “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. It is the first true emerald-cut diamond over 100 carats to be offered at auction – the most classic of cuts, quietly elegant and very contemporary.”
Lisa Hubbard, Chairman of North & South America for Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, said: “The rarest object of natural beauty on the market right now, this 100-carat diamond could be considered the ultimate acquisition. Simply put, it has everything you could ever want from a diamond: the classic shape begs to be worn, while the quality puts it in an asset class of its own. The stone gives you so many options – admire it un-mounted, wear it as a simple but stunning pendant, or mount in a designed jewel.”
In anticipation of the New York spring auction taking place on April 21, 2015 at which the diamond is expected to go under the hammer, the diamond will be taken on an international tour covering important cities such as Dubai (March 16-18), Los Angeles (March 29), Hong Kong (April 2-5), London (April 8-12), Doha (April 14-15) before returning to New York where it will be exhibited from April 17 to 21.