The greatest white diamond ever to be offered at auction

Discovered in 2011 from the deep mines in Southern Africa, the 299 carat rough of the Magnificent Oval Diamond is one of the largest and most beautiful diamond roughs found in recent years. Carefully and meticulously worked over a period of months, the resulting stone is estimated to achieve US$28/35 million / HK$220/280 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction of Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite on 7 October 2013.

The 118.28 carat, D colour, flawless, type IIa stone of excellent polish and excellent symmetry is the largest D colour flawless diamond ever to appear at auction, as well as the largest oval shaped, D colour Flawless or Internally Flawless diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

“It’s like [a] small chicken egg,” a Hong Kong-based Sotheby’s spokeswoman told AFP.


Only four other white diamonds of this quality over 100 carats have ever been sold at auction, of which Sotheby’s has sold three – the present stone is nearly 20% larger than the first and previously largest ever offered, the 101.84 carat ‘Mouawad Splendour’, sold at Sotheby’s in 1990. Each of those four stones was offered in Geneva salesrooms, making the Magnificent Oval Diamond the first D colour diamond of this size ever to appear at auction in Asia, a testimony to the importance of Hong Kong as an international jewellery auction centre.

“Apart from its stunning size of 118.28 carats, the stone is also absolutely faultless and unbelievably beautiful. It therefore is a fitting offering in celebration of Sotheby’s 40thanniversary in Asia,” said QUEK Chin Yeow, Chairman, Asia, Sotheby’International Jewellery Division.

“Sotheby’s experience with diamonds of this size and quality is unparalleled. Over the course of the last 25 years, I have had the privilege of selling three perfect D colour stones weighing over 100 carats, each with its own distinct personality and presence. The present oval diamond is no exception – not only is it the largest and grandest by a significant margin, it also is the most regal and proud of this elite group,” commented David Bennett, Chairman, Europe & the Middle East, Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division.


The Mouawad Splendour
101.84 carats
Modified pear shape, D colour, Internally Flawless
Sold for US$12.8 million
Sotheby’s Geneva, 1990
The Star of Happiness
100.36 carats
Rectangular shape, D colour, Internally Flawless
Sold for US$11.9 million
Sotheby’s Geneva, 1993
The Star of the Season
100.10 carats
Pear shape, D colour, Internally Flawless
Sold for US$16.4 million
Sotheby’s Geneva, 1995
The Winston Legacy
101.73 carats
Pear shape, D colour, Flawless
Sold for US$26.7 million
Christie’s Geneva, 2013.