Just last week, Sotheby’s held a single-lot sale for a 102.39 carat D flawless diamond, offered without reserve, which sold to a Japanese collector in Hong Kong for $15.7 million…over the phone. He named it “Maiko Star” after his second daughter. That same collector purchased an 88.2-carat D flawless diamond for $13.8 million, just last year, and christened it, “Manami Star” after his eldest daughter. Today, Christie’s announced another major rock to hit the block in Geneva next month at the “Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels” sale on November 11. Nicknamed “The Spirit of the Rose,” a 14.83-carat fancy vivid type IIA purple-pink diamond is the largest of its kind to come to auction and is estimated between $23-$38 million.
Pink diamonds are increasingly going up in value and are being eyed by collectors for their ROI potential, especially now as those with significant wealth are increasingly looking to park their assets outside of the stock market. “We have seen an increase in the prices for pink diamonds since the auction of the Graff Pink diamond at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2010,” Benoit Repellin, a Sotheby’s jewelry specialist and head of its “Magnificent Jewels” sales in Geneva, told Robb Report. That 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond sold for more than $46 million, but it was eclipsed in 2017 by Sotheby’s famed CTF Pink Star, an internally flawless 59.60-carat fancy vivid pink diamond that sold for $71.2 million to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. It remains the world record holder for the highest price ever paid for any diamond or gemstone.
Overall, Repellin says pink diamonds are, on average, selling above $1.6 million per carat over the last decade and that is only expected to rise once the Argyle Mine, the largest supplier of high-quality pink diamonds, closes for good this year after a 35-year-long run. To drive home the significance of the news, the mine’s annual production is said to have been small enough to hold in the palm of one’s hand.
“The Spirit of the Rose” was cut from the largest pink rough ever mined in Russia. It was unearthed by the Alrosa mine from the Ebelyakh deposit in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the northeast of the country and weighed 27.85 carats before it was cut. “If you look at the resource in Russia, Alrosa has unearthed four pink rough diamonds weighing more than two carats in the last 10 years, and two roughs larger than 20 carats,” says Repellin. “Pink diamonds account for less than 0.001% of Alrosa’s production volume.” The purple-pink diamond was found in July 2017 and it took Alrosa’s cutters an entire year to cut it before it could even be polished.
For those who want to get an up-close look at the internally flawless gem before the sale, it will be exhibited in Hong Kong (October 13-14), Singapore (October 20-21), Taipei (October 27-28) and Geneva (November 7-10). The live auction will take place at 6:30 PM CEST at Sotheby’s Geneva.