Diamond breaks world record for online auction bid

A 102.39 carat D Flawless oval diamond has been sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction for $15.7m (£12.2m), breaking the world record for the highest value ever bid for a jewel in an online auction. 

Before its sale, the highest price paid for a jewel in an online auction was $2.1m (£1.6m) at Christie’s in July for a 28.86 carat diamond.

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The jewel marks the eighth diamond weighing more than 100 carats of D colour to have ever appeared at auction. 

Commenting on the sale, 77 Diamonds managing director Tobias Kormind said: “During this time of global economic uncertainty, unseen for a century, US$15.7m (£12.1m) is a steal for this exquisite 102.39 D Flawless diamond. Savvy investors are currently falling over themselves to acquire alternative safe haven assets like diamonds, property and gold. 

“With valuations of some stocks and shares overheated, others showing signals of distress, income-generating assets providing low to negative yields and high unemployment very much on the cards, demand for alternative assets remains buoyant and resilient.”

He added: “I’m disappointed the final price wasn’t higher. In an unprecedented move for this calibre of stone, the seller was prepared to part with this stone without putting a reserve on it (a minimum price below which they are not prepared to sell), a brave decision that has come back to bite them, achieving a less than optimum price. 

“Despite this, the Hong Kong location of this sale confirms Asia’s position as an enduring powerhouse of new wealth creation and luxury demand, which has weathered Covid-19 better than the West.”

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