By Brecken Branstrator
The 88.22-carat oval diamond that sold for $13.8 million in Hong Kong Tuesday, now named the “Manami Star”
Hong Kong—An 88.22-carat oval diamond that garnered interest not only for its size but also for its perfection “according to every critical criterion” sold for nearly $14 million at a jewelry auction Tuesday.

The D color, flawless, Type IIa oval brilliant led the Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale, garnering $13.8 million and topping its pre-sale estimate of $11.2-$12.7 million.

According to Sotheby’s, the stone caught the serious attention of three bidders during the jewelry auction, but it eventually went to a Japanese private collector, who named the diamond the “Manami Star” after his eldest daughter.

The cut diamond came from a 242-carat chunk of 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 and quality factors, the diamond also was significant to some 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—the number eight is thought to bring good wishes.

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

According to Sotheby’s, the Manami Star is the largest oval diamond to appear in a jewelry auction in more than five years.

The Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale totaled almost $40 million in Hong Kong Tuesday. For the full list of results, visit

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