A rare 102-karat diamond found in northern Ontario two years ago may be among the most expensive of its kind in an auction that starts online and is set to peak in person in Hong Kong in early October.
The diamonds were mined at Victor Mine which is now closed to DeBeers in 2018, and the diamonds, roughly the size of an egg, were cut from a larger 271-carat rough diamond, then have been cut and polished for over a year.
Those in the industry say the stone has a lot of advantages. Diamonds are known as Type IIa diamonds, which are among the most chemically pure diamonds among natural diamonds. Toronto-based fine jewelry designer Rina Ahluwalia says only about one or two percent of diamonds end up in Type IIa. It’s also D-rated and considered flawless, a description that British auction house Sotheby’s says gives only 0.5 percent of all diamonds mined.
Sotheby’s began bidding on the stone online this week, and the process will end with a personal auction in Hong Kong on October 5. As a sign of its rarity, the auction is held without a reserve price, which means there is no minimum bid, and no number that theoretically specifies what a buyer might think is worth. Sotheby’s says it is the first time that a diamond of this caliber has been sold without a reserve price.
Sotheby’s said it is the second-largest oval diamond ever to be auctioned, and it is slightly smaller than the 118-carat diamond that sold for $ 30 million in 2013. It is also the eighth oval diamond of 100 carats or more that was ever launched. . For auction.
The miracle of nature
Currently, the record price for a diamond at auction is $ 83 million for the so-called Pink Star Diamond, which is a 59-carat jewel that was sold in 2013. Other diamonds, including those in the British Crown Jewels, and the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian Museum , It will likely sell more due to its symbolism but they will never go on sale.
Watch | The 102 karat diamond has been cut and polished for over a year:
Ahluwalia calls the stone in question a “miracle of nature” and it is likely to bring a large amount due to its unique properties.
“These big diamonds are investment pieces,” she said. “It is difficult to obtain the rare quality of this species.”
Ahluwalia says, as it has in many industries, COVID-19 has transformed the fine jewelry market. In the early days of the pandemic, sales slowed until eventually creeping up just because people weren’t shopping for them, or for anything else.
But since the international community has fallen behind selling online, the demand has returned dramatically. Several large diamonds, with double or triple carats counted in double and triple digits, are due to go on auction in the coming months. That is why some believe that the price of this Canadian diamond can set a record.
$ 30 million or maybe more
Sotheby’s estimated the final sale price at between $ 12 million and $ 30 million. But the potential sale price is difficult to guess because the winning bidder may be driven by investment potential or more emotional considerations, Ahluwalia says. She points out that another famous diamond, now known as Moon of Josephine, was bought by Chinese billionaire Joseph Lau for $ 64 million at auction in 2015.
Ahluwalia says the bid on this stone was higher than people expected, because Law wanted it for his daughter Josephine. Someone might feel the same way about these diamonds.
“If it was a personal purchase, it might be fitted and enjoyed as a piece of jewelry,” she said. “But some investors are just looking for another opportunity.”
Ahluwalia has a personal relationship with the mine where the stone was first discovered. Shortly after the mine opened in 2008, Ahluwalia was commissioned by the Ontario government to redesign the scepter that opens and closes sessions in the provincial legislature, and incorporate diamonds from Victor Mayne into the scepter.
She says the Canadian origin of the diamond may help drive the price up, as Canadian gemstones are considered to have higher standards of ethics and sustainability than those mined in some other countries. But in the end, he will sell the diamond for everything he sells based on his merits.
“Because it is wonderful,” she says.