Sotheby’s is selling a 102.34 ct. type IIa D Flawless round diamond—but not where you would expect.
Instead of going the traditional auction route, the stone is being sold for private purchase at the Sotheby’s Diamonds retail salon on New Bond Street in London, England. The store will display the diamond to the public on Feb. 8 and 9.
Sotheby’s spokeswoman Amanda Bass says it expects that the stone’s price will greatly exceed the $33.7 million fetched by the 163 ct. D Flawless “Art of de Grisogono” in November. That 163 ct. stone currently holds the title of the world’s most expensive D Flawless diamond.
As to why it’s taking this seemingly unconventional path, Bass says, “Sotheby’s Diamonds sells a lot of diamonds privately all along the year. This retail branch allows us to supplement the auction calendar and offer an alternative means for clients to acquire outstanding diamonds without being tied to particular sale dates.”
She says that it is up to the buyer whether the sale or price will become public.
A statement called the stone the “rarest white diamond ever to come to the market,” because of its round shape. It noted that only seven D-color diamonds weighing more than 100 carats have ever sold at auction, and none were brilliant cuts.
The Art of de Grisogono was considerably larger at 163 cts., but was an emerald cut. Similarly, the 118 ct. D Flawless sold by Sotheby’s in 2013 was an oval.
“It’s the shape of the diamond (when combined with its size and quality) that really sets it apart,” says spokeswoman Catherine Allen. “When it comes to stones of significant size, it is very rare to find a round brilliant-cut stone, as the cutter will generally try to keep the maximum of weight from the rough. Elongated cushions, emerald-cuts, and pear-shapes are usually more common for large diamonds.”
The stone was cut from a 425 ct. rough that was mined by De Beers in Botswana. It took Diacore six months to cut and polish it.
There are three Sotheby’s Diamonds salons—one in London, one in Hong Kong, and one in New York City.
(Image courtesy of Sotheby’s Diamonds)