The world’s most expensive diamond per carat has sold to an unnamed buyer, Sotheby’s Diamonds announced on Friday.
The 102.34-carat jewel is larger in diameter than a quarter and is considered the rarest white diamond ever to be sold. It is the world’s only known D-color round brilliant-cut diamond over 100 carats that is technically flawless, according to the Sotheby’s, which put the diamond up for sale in February.
The auctioneers have not yet revealed the total price paid for the jewel, but say the deal far exceeded the previous record of $260,252 per carat set in 2013.
That means the 102-carat jewel sold for at least $26.63 million in total.
The previous record holder was a 118.28 carat oval diamond that sold at auction in 2013 in Hong Kong for a total of $30.8 million.
Patti Wong, founder and chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds, says it’s hard to believe that a stone so brilliant is “as old as the earth itself.”
“When the new custodian of this stone first beheld it, they were—like everyone else who has seen it—completely captivated,” Ms. Wong said in a news release. “This diamond is a wonder of nature.”
Ms. Wong, who was traveling Friday, could not immediately be reached for further comment.
Of the millions of diamonds the Gemological Institute of America examines each year, only a handful, if any, weigh more than 100 carats, said Tom Moses, executive vice president and chief research and laboratory officer.
“These are accidental freaks of nature really,” Mr. Moses said. Miners are less likely to unearth many more diamonds of this size since no new diamond mines are in the pipeline, he said.
“All indications are that we’ll see fewer of these diamonds,” Mr. Moses said.
Meanwhile, Sotheby’s will unveil two more superlative diamonds at an auction in Geneva in May, both weighing in at over 50 carats.
One of the diamonds is a flawless brilliant-cut stone—the same color, cut and clarity of the record-breaking diamond—weighing 51.71 carats. Sotheby’s estimates its value of $8.2 million to $9.5 million.
The second diamond is a flawless oval diamond weighing 50.39 carats, with an estimated value of $7.25 million to $8 million.
Both diamonds that will go up for auction are D color, the most valuable, and have a level of clarity only found in only 2% of all gem diamonds, according to Sotheby’s.