The largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever to appear at auction sold for $28,523,925 ($1,773,875 per carat) to an Asian buyer at Christie’s Geneva sale of Magnificent Jewels on Nov. 10, setting a new world auction price for a diamond of its kind.
Now named Sweet Josephine
, the cushion-shaped diamond boasts a distinct pink hue among its exceptional qualities. While most pink diamonds exhibit a color modifier such as purple, orange, brown or gray, this diamond shows absolutely no trace of a secondary color, making it exceedingly rare and attractive. In addition, the stone’s even color distribution, combined with a balanced saturation and tone, qualify it for the coveted “fancy vivid” color grading from the Gemological Institute of America. Only one in 100,000 diamonds possesses a color deep enough to qualify as “fancy,” according to Christie’s.
The stone is also a Type IIa diamond, a rare subgroup of diamonds that includes less than 2 percent of the world’s diamond production. Stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency.
At 16.08 carats, the diamond also has an exceptional weight. In the fancy vivid pink range, diamonds of even 5 or 6 carats are rarely encountered at auction, and those at more than 10 carats are virtually unheard of. In fact, fewer than 10 percent of pink diamonds weigh more than one-fifth of a carat, according to Christie’s. In almost 250 years of auction history, the auction house says only three pure vivid pink diamonds of more than 10 carats have appeared for sale.
“As large and rare colored diamonds of this caliber become increasingly hard to locate, this 16.08-carat fancy vivid pink diamond comes to market at a time when great gems are mirroring prices achieved for masterpieces in the world of fine art,” says Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry at Christie’s International. “Collectors are looking to jewels as savvy investments that are both beautiful and can appreciate considerably in value over a relatively short period of time.”
Other notable pink diamond sales at Christie’s include:
• The Vivid Pink
, a 5-carat cushion-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond that sold for $2,155,332 per carat in December 2009, setting a new per-carat record price for any pink diamond.
• The Princie Diamond
, 34.65-carat cushion-shaped fancy intense pink diamond that sold for $39.3 million in April 2013.
• The Perfect Pink
, a 14.23-carat rectangular-shaped fancy intense pink diamond that sold for $23.2 million.
• The Martian Pink
, a 12.04-carat brilliant-cut fancy intense pink diamond ring by Harry Winston that sold for $17.4 million.
Earlier this year, a 9.07-carat rectangular-shaped fancy intense pink diamond ring sold for $12.06 million at Christie’s Hong Kong.
Some of the world’s most famous and historic gems are pink diamonds, including the Darya-i-Nur
weighing approximately 182 carats, part of the Iranian Crown Jewels; the Hortensia
weighing 20.53 carats, formerly part of the Crown Jewels of France and currently on display at the Louvre; and the Williamson
weighing 23.60 carats, belonging to Queen Elizabeth II.
is set in a ring encircled by a double row of pavé-set colorless diamonds. A third row of small pink diamonds is set underneath. The band features small circular-cut colorless diamonds set in platinum.
The second top lot was a magnificent platinum and diamond ring that sold for $7,837,749 ($155,264 per carat) to the international trade. The ring features a pear-shaped brilliant-cut Type IIa diamond weighing approximately 50.48 carats with D color and internally flawless clarity.
Rounding out the top three lots was an important colored diamond pendant that sold for $4,278,837 ($46,605 per carat) to the Middle Eastern trade. The pendant features a cushion-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing approximately 91.81 carats set within a four-claw gold mount and suspended from a black silk cord by a pavé-set diamond loop.
Christie’s Geneva sale of Magnificent Jewels achieved a total of $109,492,525, selling 80 percent by lot and 86 percent by value. Overall, 327 of the 408 lots offered were sold.