The stone Sotheby’s called “the greatest white diamond ever to appear at auction” indeed secured its place in the record books at its Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Auction—although the equally notable “Premier Blue” failed to find a buyer.
The 118 ct. D Flawless oval sold for $238.7 million in Hong Kong dollars (approximately $30.6 million U.S.) at its Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction on Oct. 7, setting a new record for a white diamond.
That falls within the stone’s original $25 million to $35 million estimate, and tops the previous record price for a white diamond set in May by the $26.7 million paid for the “Winston Legacy.” The oval stone originated from a 299 ct. rough, which was found in Southern Africa in 2011.
The buyer is currently anonymous, but was described to Agence France-Presse as a “private collector.” According to an Associated Press account, two telephone bidders were vying for the stone until one dropped out at the last minute.
However, the Premier Blue, a rare 7.59 ct. fancy vivid blue stone that was expected to set a record per-carat price for any diamond, failed to find a buyer, the auction house said.
The Premier Blue
The internally flawless Premier Blue, said to be about the size of a shirt button, is the largest fancy vivid blue round ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America and carried a $19 million estimate. According to the AP, the bids only reached $16.1 million, below its reserve.
Even with the big blue’s fizzle, the overall sale totaled $96 million, which is the highest total for any jewelry auction in Asia.