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Buyer of $15.7M Diamond 'Bagged a Bargain'

Sale of 'conflict-free' diamond breaks multiple records
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2020 3:36 PM CDT

(Newser) – An anonymous bidder got a gem of a deal Monday when they snapped up a flawless 102-carat diamond for $15.7 million, experts say. The sale of the diamond found in northern Ontario in 2018 broke multiple records, the CBC reports. It broke the record for a diamond sold at an auction that involved online bidding by more than $13 million, and the gem was the most expensive Canadian diamond ever sold. It was also sold without a minimum bid price, apparently in an attempt to spark a bidding war. Tobias Kormind at online jeweler 77 Diamonds calls the rare move a "brave decision that has come back to bite" the seller. The buyer has "bagged a bargain," says Kormind, who is disappointed the stone didn't fetch a higher price.

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Before online bidding began a month ago, price estimates ranged from $10 million to $30 million. Sotheby's said it was "difficult to overstate" the "rarity and beauty" of the gem, which is around the same size as an egg. Only seven other flawless, colorless diamonds over 100 carats have been sold at auction before—and none before now were sold without a reserve price. The stone is among several enormous diamonds unearthed in recent years in Canada, where diamond-rich areas weren't discovered until the 1990s. "Canadian diamonds, often found in the remote northern reaches of the country, have a reputation for being conflict-free and more sustainably sourced than stones from some other nations," notes Jessica Murphy at the BBC. (Read more diamond stories.)

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