Pink diamond sells for over $50M, setting world record

Irving Hamilton
November 14, 2018

The price of around $2.6m per carat marked a world record for a pink diamond, according to the Europe head of auction house Christie's.

The rectangular-cut diamond has been graded "fancy vivid" - the highest possible grade of colour intensity.

"You may see this color in a pink diamond of less than one carat".

The auction price of the Pink Legacy diamond, sold at Christie's annual Magnificent Jewels auction, beat out the previous record price-per-carat.

Rahul Kadakia, Christie's head of worldwide jewelry, said that auction house has only sold four diamonds weighing more than 10 carats of the same color in its 251 years of history.

In April 2017, a 59.6-carat diamond known as the Pink Star became the most expensive jewel sold at auction after going for $71.2 million at Sotheby's in Hong Kong.

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"It is unusual for pink diamonds to occur with a strong depth of color and saturation in any size", GIA representatives told Christie's.

The classic rectangular cut is traditionally used for white stones, but is rare for pink diamonds. Only 1 in 100,000 diamonds receives the grading. But this is nearly 19 carats, and it's as pink as can be.

"This record-busting price fetched suggests the diamond trade is in good health and signals the market's sensitivity to Australia's Argyle mine's imminent closure in 2020", Eddie LeVian, CEO of jewelers Le Vian, said in a statement.

The Pink Legacy, which once belonged to the Oppenheimer family which for decades ran the De Beers diamond mining company, was snapped up by American luxury brand Harry Wilson, part of the Swiss Swatch group.

Bright pink diamonds are rare. It was the largest polished diamond ever auctioned.

In addition to diamonds, a painting by British artist David Hockney is scheduled to be sold at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale at New York's Rockefeller Center on November 15 for around $80 million. The sale of Pink Legacy has surpassed that, at $2.637 million per carat.

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