This 88.22-carat oval Type IIa diamond is expected to sell for $11.2 to $12.7 million at Sotheby’s April jewelry auction in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong—This spring, Sotheby’s Hong Kong will put an oval diamond it calls “perfect according to every critical criterion” on the auction block.

On April 2, an 88.22-carat, D-color, flawless, Type IIa oval brilliant diamond will lead Sotheby’s jewelry auction in Hong Kong.

The stone is estimated to garner between $11.2 and $12.7 million.

The cut diamond came from a 242-carat rough uncovered at the Jwaneng mine in Botswana, which is owned in partnership by De Beers and the government of Botswana.

In addition to its rarity, the diamond could be significant to Hong Kong buyers for other reasons.

The number eight is considered lucky in China and other Asian cultures (the pronunciation of “Ba” in Chinese sounds similar to the word “Fa,” meaning to make a fortune), and also is a symbol of perfection and eternity. In its duality—88—it is thought to bring good wishes.

There also is a visual resemblance between 88 and a Chinese character (囍), meaning double joy, a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters.

News of Sotheby’s offering the 88.22-carat oval follows several years of landmark sales for the highest quality, rarest white diamonds at jewelry auctions.

In April 2018, Sotheby’s retail arm sold a 102.34-carat white diamond to a private collector that set a per-carat price record (the final sale price wasn’t disclosed).

The following month, two flawless D-color Type IIa diamonds weighing 51.71 carats and 50.39 carats sold at a Geneva jewelry auction for $9.3 million and $8.1 million, respectively.

In November 2017, Christie’s Geneva sold a 163.41-carat diamond that was also D color, flawless and Type IIa for $33.7 million.

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