A rare 102-carat white diamond sold at auction for $ 15.7million (£ 12.1million) in what experts consider a ‘good deal’.
The gemstone went to an anonymous telephone bidder. The auction was held online by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong due to the pandemic.
The diamond was mined from a 271-carat stone that was discovered in a Canadian mine in 2018.
Only seven other diamonds of over 100 carats and of the same quality went under the hammer.
The stone had no reserve price – a minimum price the seller is willing to accept for an item.
This is the first time in history that a diamond has been auctioned this way.
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Sotheby’s described the diamond as “flawless” and said it was “difficult to overestimate its rarity and beauty”.
Tobias Kormind, managing director of online jeweler 77 Diamonds, said the buyer had “got a good deal.”
He said that by not having a reserve price, the seller made a “courageous decision that came back to bite them.”
In 2017, a necklace with a 163-carat diamond was valued at $ 33.7 million at a Christie’s event in Geneva. The diamond, mined from a 404-carat stone in Angola, is said to be the largest diamond ever to be auctioned. The identity of the buyer has not been revealed.
That same year, a rare pink diamond weighing just under 19 carats was sold at auction for 50.3 million Swiss francs (£ 42.3 million), a record price per carat.
The price of around $ 2.6 million per carat marked a world record for a pink diamond, according to the European director of the Christie’s auction house.
Par Jessica Murphy, BBC News à Toronto
Canada – among the world’s leading diamond producers – is no stranger to large gemstones, even though large-scale stone mining 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 site in the Northwest Territories, 135 miles (215 km) south. south of the Arctic Circle.
The former record-holding diamond was found in the same mine in 2015.
This stone – the Foxfire, a two billion year old 187.7 carat diamond – has been on display around the world, including for a few weeks at Kensington Palace in London.
Canadian diamonds, often found in remote northern areas of the country, have a reputation for being conflict-free and from more durable sources than stones from other countries.
This reputation is promoted and protected by industry and local governments, although environmental activists argue that mines damage the fragile northern ecosystem.