An exceptionally large pink diamond weighing 16.08 carats has sold for more than US$28.5 million (AU$40.4 million) at auction, setting a new world record as the most expensive vivid pink to diamond to be sold at auction.
The cushion-shaped stone, part of Christie’s Geneva sale of Magnificent Jewels, was purchased by an Asian private buyer who named it “Sweet Josephine.” The origin of the stone was not disclosed.
Set in a platinum and gold ring surrounded by a double row of pave-set white diamonds, its pre-sale estimate was US$23 – US$£28 million (AU$33 – AU$40 million).
The diamond is exceedingly rare because it it shows absolutely no trace of a secondary color, Christie’s said, and its Type IIa classification means there is little to no nitrogen in the diamond.
Also notable is the size of the stone. The auction house said with diamonds in the fancy vivid pink range, stones of five or six carats are “rarely encountered” in the sale room and those weighing more than 10 carats are “virtually unheard of,” making a pink diamond as large as 16.08 carats increasingly hard to locate.
In total, the Nov. 10 auction fetched $109.5 million, selling 80 percent by lot and 86 percent by value.
The sale saw strong results for colored gemstones and natural pearls, with a fancy vivid yellow diamond, a bluish-gray diamond, a Burma sapphire and two pearl necklaces all making it into the auction’s top 10 lots.
Coming in as the second-highest lot after Sweet Josephine was a 50.48-carat pear-shaped, brilliant-cut internally flawless diamond of D color. It sold for $7.8 million, or $155,264 per carat.
A 91.81-carat cushion-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond of VS2 clarity garnered $4.3 million, followed by a 118.88-carat cushion-shaped Burma sapphire, which brought in $4.2 million. Both stones were purchased by the Middle Eastern trade, according to Christie’s.
“Selling the largest vivid pink cushion-shaped diamond … for a new world auction record price is a strong indication that there is still demand from clients from that end of the market for these truly precious stones,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of Christie’s jewellery department. “This is also true for pieces of historic or royal provenance, which similarly attracted a lot of interest during the viewing and sold above estimate.”