The 100-carat diamond on pre-auction show at Sotheby's in Los Angeles. 25 March 2015
The classic emerald-cut white diamond was the highlight of the sale at Sotheby’s

A flawless 100-carat diamond has sold for $22.1m (£14.8m) at Sotheby’s auction house in New York.

The gem, originally mined by De Beers in South Africa, was snapped up by an anonymous buyer after only three minutes’ bidding.

The diamond had taken more than a year to cut, polish and perfect.

Only six perfect diamonds weighing more than 100 carats have been auctioned in the past 25 years, according to Sotheby’s.

It had a pre-sale estimate of between $19m and $25m.

The head of Sotheby’s jewellery department in New York, Gary Schuler, described the diamond as “the definition of perfection”.

“The colour is whiter than white, it is free of any internal imperfections and so transparent that I can only compare it to a pool of icy water,” he said before the sale.

The gem was the highlight of a sale of more than 350 jewels expected to sell for a total of more than $50m.

Two years ago, a flawless pink diamond known as the Pink Star set a world record price for a gemstone at auction when it sold for $83m in Geneva.

 

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