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Rare diamond becomes most expensive gem sold at auction

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A rare diamond has made auction history after selling for a whopping $21.8 million without a reserve price.

A rare diamond has made auction history after selling for a whopping $21.8 million without a reserve price.

The 102.39-carat gem is the first of its quality to be sold without a reserve. Bidding opened at just $0.18 and it took more than three weeks before it finally sold.

The diamond was tipped to attract huge bids due to its ranking in the 'four Cs' by which a diamond is judged including cut, color, clarity and carat weight.

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The stone was been classified as D color - the highest grading for a white diamond, making it externally "flawless" and placing it among the world's most chemically pure, transparent and symmetrical diamonds.

Cut from a rough diamond discovered in 2018 in Ontario, Canada, the oval stone received the highest bid placed for a jewel online, nearly $15.3 million, before being sold to a private collector in Japan who named the stone "Maiko Star" after one of his daughters.

In a press statement released ahead of the auction, Sotheby's worldwide chairman of jewellery, Gary Schuler, had said that it was "difficult to overstate (the stone's) rarity and beauty."

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Despite an online auction due to the coronavirus pandemic, collectors and gem-enthusiasts were keen to get their hands on the rare find.

"The extraordinary gem needed no help from a pre-sale estimate or reserve to reach its rightful price, just the instinctive desire of collectors to own one of the earth's greatest treasures," Sotheby's Asia chairman Patti Wong.

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The only other white diamond to come close was a rectangular 163.41-carat diamond, which sold for $46.9 million at Christie's in Geneva.

While white diamonds can attract huge bids at auction, pink and blue varieties have achieved even larger sums in recent years. In 2017, a 59.60-carat pink diamond known as the Pink Star became the most expensive jewel ever to sell at auction when it went for $71.2 million at Sotheby's in Hong Kong.

Two years earlier, the 12.03-carat "Blue Moon" diamond sold for $48.4 million, also through Sotheby's.

Source: 9News

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