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Rare, 102-carat white diamond set to fetch millions at auction next month

By
Don Jacobson
Independent vintage jewelry curator Joanna Gong holds a 'Perfect' 100+ Carat Diamond unveiled by Sotheby's on Wednesday in New York City. The jewel will be auctioned next month. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Independent vintage jewelry curator Joanna Gong holds a 'Perfect' 100+ Carat Diamond unveiled by Sotheby's on Wednesday in New York City. The jewel will be auctioned next month. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Sotheby's said Thursday it will auction a 102-carat, flawless white oval diamond in Hong Kong next month, and expects it could fetch as much as $30 million.

The Oct. 5 sale will be just the eighth time that a "D color," flawless white diamond larger than 100 carats has been sold at such an event, the auctioneer said.

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The rock was unveiled during a preview in New York City on Wednesday.

"This stunning diamond is the best of the best when it comes to exceptional white diamonds and it is difficult to overstate its rarity and beauty," Gary Schuler, Sotheby's worldwide chairman of jewelry, said in a statement.

The diamond was discovered at the De Beers Group's Victor Mine in remote northern Canada in 2018. It's the second-largest oval diamond of its kind to be offered at auction. The largest, a 118-carat diamond, brought a record $30.8 million seven years ago.

Sotheby's unveils A 'Perfect' 100+ Carat Diamond on Wednesday in New York City. Only seven other "D" color, internally flawless or flawless white diamonds larger than 100 carats have been sold at auction, making this the eighth when it's up for sale in Hong Kong next month. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
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Next month's auction will be held "without reserve," meaning the highest bid will win regardless of the intrinsic value of the diamond itself -- a first in auction history for any high-value jewel or work of art.

The lack of a bidding threshold is a response to changes in the auction industry necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sotheby's Asia Chairwoman Patti Wong said.

"Diamonds of this caliber attract interest well beyond the traditional pool of collectors," she said. "This innovative sale seems to us the best way to introduce this exceptional diamond to the world in the current circumstances where travel is restricted and act as a great indicator of the vitality of the demand."

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