The oval diamond, polished from a 271 carat rough stone from the Canadian Victor mine, also made auction history as the first gem of its quality to be sold without a reserve. Patti Wong, the chairman of Sotheby’s Asia said in a press release that 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. And that the sale is a testament “not just to the importance of this diamond, but to the market for diamonds more broadly.”
The diamond had received top rankings in each of the 4Cs and classified as a D colour, the highest grading for a white diamond. While the opening bid was 13 cents, the price climbed rapidly over a month of bidding until it sold to a telephone bidder in Japan for $15.7 million at an auction.
The private collector had named the gem Maiko Star after one of his daughters. This same collector purchased a diamond from Sotheby’s last year, naming it “Manami Star” after his eldest daughter.