A stunning 16.08-carat fancy vivid pink diamond will be touring like a "rock" star before hitting the auction block at Christie's Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on November 10. If the cushion-shaped diamond lives up to its billing, it could bring as much as $28 million, setting an auction record for the highest price ever paid for a pink diamond of that shape.
If spirited bidding drives the price beyond $34 million, the auction headliner will break the current per-carat auction record for any pink diamond — a record held by The Vivid Pink at $2.1 million.
Christie's emphasized the pure, strong saturation of color present in the pink diamond. While most pink diamonds exhibit a hint of secondary color — such as purple, orange, brown or grey — the stone up for auction shows no trace of another color, making it both attractive and exceptionally rare.
The auction house noted that fewer than 10 percent of pink diamonds weigh more than one-fifth of a carat. In almost 250 years of auction history, only three pure vivid pink diamonds larger than 10 carats have appeared for sale.
"As large and rare colored diamonds of this calibre 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," noted Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewelry. "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."
The importance of the postage-stamp-size pink diamond is reflected in Christie's efforts to treat this gem like an international rock star. The stone will take off on a multi-city tour starting this weekend. Gem fans in Hong Kong will get a first glimpse of the pink diamond from October 2-4. Then, the tour moves on to New York (Oct. 16-19) and London (Oct. 26-27). The diamond will make its final appearance in Geneva from November 6-10, and it will be sold on the evening of the 10th.
Billed as the largest cushion-shaped fancy pink diamond to ever be offered at auction, the gem is set in a halo-style ring. The pink diamond is surrounded by a double row of pavé white diamonds, highlighting the main stone, with a third row of small pink diamonds underneath. The band is comprised of small white diamonds set in platinum.
The current owner purchased the stone as an investment 10 years ago, according to Christie's. The bidder who walks away with the gem on November 10 will get the naming rights.
Christie's set the pre-sale estimate at $23 million to $28 million. Despite those lofty numbers, the gem is unlikely to threaten The Graff Pink, which currently owns the record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a diamond. Laurence Graff of Graff Diamonds won the 24.78-carat emerald-cut fancy vivid pink gem at Sotheby’s Geneva for $45.6 million in 2010.
Amazingly, only one day after the Christie's auction, rival Sotheby's Geneva will be taking a crack at Graff's record when the Blue Moon hits the auction block. Sotheby's has given the 12.03-carat fancy vivid blue diamond a pre-sale estimate of $35 million to $55 million.
Image credits: Christie's, Sotheby's.