Flawless 102-carat diamond a ‘cut price’ at $16m

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Experts say the diamond was sold at a bargain price

A rare 102 carat white diamond sold for $ 15.7 million (£ 12.1 million). Experts say this is a “bargain”.

The gem went to an unnamed telephone bidder. The auction was held online by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong due to the pandemic.

The diamond was taken from a 271-carat stone discovered in a Canadian mine in 2018.

Only seven other diamonds with a size greater than 100 carats and of the same quality have gone under the hammer.

The stone had no reserve price – a reserve price that the seller is willing to accept for an item.

It is the first time in history that a diamond has been auctioned in this way.

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Sotheby’s described the diamond as “flawless” and said it was “difficult to exaggerate its rarity and beauty”.

Tobias Kormind, managing director of the online jeweler 77 Diamonds, said the buyer had “made a bargain”.

He said the seller made “a bold decision that came back to bite her” because he didn’t have a reserve price.

In 2017, a necklace with a 163-carat diamond fetched $ 33.7 million at a Christie’s event in Geneva. The diamond, made from a 404-carat stone in Angola, is believed to be the largest diamond ever presented at auction. The identity of the buyer was not disclosed.

That same year, a rare pink diamond weighing just under 19 carats fetched 50.3 million Swiss francs (£ 42.3 million) at auction, a record price per carat.

The price of around USD 2.6 million per carat was a world record for a pink diamond, according to the European auction house manager Christie’s.

Northern treasure

By Jessica Murphy, BBC News in Toronto

Canada – one of the world’s largest diamond producers – is no stranger to large gemstones, although large-scale mining of the stones only began there in the 1990s.

Two years ago, Dominion Diamond Mines announced the discovery of a 552-carat yellow gemstone, a North American record, at its location in the Northwest Territories, 215 km south of the Arctic Circle.

The previous record diamond was found in the same mine in 2015.

This stone – the Foxfire, a two billion year old 187.7 carat diamond – has been exhibited all over the world, including for a few weeks at Kensington Palace in London.

Canadian diamonds, often found in the country’s remote northern regions, are considered conflict-free and more sustainable than stones from other countries.

This reputation is promoted and protected by industry and local governments, although environmental activists argue that the mines are damaging the fragile northern ecosystem.

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