Wednesday 01 October 2014

World’s ‘Next Great Pink Diamond’ to Go on Sale

World’s ‘Next Great Pink Diamond’ to Go on Sale


An extremely rare 8.41-carat internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond is estimated to sell for £8–9.5 million when it is auctioned by Sotheby’s Hong Kong next week.

Just 0.1 per cent of the 20 million carats of rough diamonds produced annually are pink, and, of these, the number weighing more than half a carat would fit into the palm of your hand. No wonder then that many of history’s most prized gems – from the Williamson presented to Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding, the Hortense from the Crown Jewels of France, the Darya-i-Nur from the Iranian Crown Jewels and Babur’s Agra – are pink diamonds.

And no wonder that a new 8.41-carat pink diamond, like the one to be auctioned at Sotheby’s Hong Kong’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Sale on October 7, causes quite a stir in the jewellery world, not to mention a pre-sale estimate of HK $100-120 million (US $12.8-15.4 million, around £8-9.5 million).

Hewn from a 19.54-carat rough pink diamond that was mined in 2010 by De Beers, in addition to its size the pear-shaped diamond owes its incredible rarity to its internally flawless clarity and fancy vivid purple-pink colour.

Pink diamonds are the result of an imperfection in the stone’s atomic structure, leading to pink grain lines. The more of these grain lines form, the more intense the stone’s pink colour. So the very formation of a pink diamond leads to less than desirable clarity, with almost all stones showing surface graining or having a hazy overall appearance due to internal graining.

A stone of this size that possesses not only a vibrant pink-purple colour (fancy vivid is the highest colour grading by the Gemological Institute of America) but also internally flawless clarity, is virtually unseen in any other pink diamond sold at auction. In the words of Sotheby’s, it is “a treasure of nature…[and] ranks amongst the rarest and most desirable of coloured diamonds ever seen at auction”.

The current world record holder for any jewel sold at auction is also a pink diamond: the “Graff Pink”, a 24.76-carat fancy intense pink diamond which was purchased by Lawrence Graff at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2010 for CHF 45,442,500 ($46,158,674, around £28,483,339). Another pink, the 59.60-carat “Pink Star”, broke this record when it sold for over £52 million in 2013, but the sale was never completed and the stone remains part of the Sotheby's inventory, Forbes reports.

Other notable lots at the Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Sale include a 50.05-carat heart-shaped Type IIa diamond estimated at HK$60-70 million ($7.7-9 million / £4.75-5.6 million), a suite of jadeite jewellery formerly in the collection of the last Empress of China and the Ballerina Butterfly Brooch co-designed by Cindy Chao and Sarah Jessica Parker to benefit the New York City Ballet.