Largest Pear-Shaped Pink Diamond Ever Offered at Auction Comes to Sotheby's Geneva in May; Gem Could Fetch $38M
The largest pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond ever offered at auction is expected to fetch upwards of $38 million when it headlines Sotheby's Geneva sale in May.
Known as the "Unique Pink," the 15.38-carat gemstone's impressive size, superb color and stunning clarity puts it in the top echelon of the finest pink diamonds of all time.
"It is difficult to imagine a diamond that better illustrates the term 'vivid pink' than this outstanding stone," noted David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby's International Jewelry Division. "The color is simply astonishing and, for its size, it is in my experience truly unique."
The record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a fancy vivid pink diamond is currently held by the 24.78-carat emerald-cut "Graff Pink," which was sold by British billionaire Laurence Graff for $46.2 million at Sotheby's Geneva in 2010.
Although the Unique Pink is expected to yield a $8 million less than the Graff Pink, it should outperform the highly acclaimed “Sweet Josephine,” a cushion-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 16.08 carats that was purchased by Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau for $28.5 million at Christie’s Geneva in 2015.
In addition to receiving the Gemological Institute of America's highest possible color grading, the Unique Pink also earned a Type IIa rating, reflecting its "exceedingly pure structure."
The rough diamond that yielded the Unique Pink was cut and polished by the New York-based Cora International, known worldwide for its expertise in handling large sizes and vivid fancy colors. Noted the GIA: “Although nature is largely to thank for the Unique Pink’s most striking and unusual attributes, the work of its cutter must not go unnoticed. The task of polishing the valuable rough crystal into the sparkling gem it is today required tremendous skill.”
Pink diamonds are also extraordinarily rare. The GIA reports that of all the diamonds submitted for grading each year, only 3% are colored diamonds. Of that grouping, only 5% are predominantly pink.
Because of this rarity, wealthy investors have sought pink diamonds for their portfolios. According to the Fancy Color Research Foundation, since January 2005, pink diamonds have risen in value by more than 350%. Over that same period, gold, by comparison, has risen by just over 160% and the S&P 500 gained 66%.
Sotheby's set the pre-sale estimate for the Unique Pink at $28 million to $38 million. It will be the top lot of the auction house's Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale, which is set to take place on May 17 in Geneva.
The Unique Pink already has completed two legs of a three-city promotional tour that included Hong Kong and London. The gem will appear in New York from April 15-19.
Credits: Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s; screen capture via Sothebys.com.