Extraordinarily Rare Pink Diamond Lands at Auction

In 250 years, only four similar diamonds have ever gone to auction at Christie's.

Photo: Courtesy Christie's

Christie’s will bring an 18.96-carat fancy vivid pink diamond to auction during its November 13 Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva. The rectangular-cut gem—called the Pink Legacy—is the largest and finest example ever offered by the auction house. It is estimated to sell for $30-$50 million.

The diamond was once owned by the Oppenheimer family (noteworthy, incidentally, for previously owning the diamond company De Beers) and will be exhibited in Hong Kong, London, and New York prior to the November 13 auction. An auction-quality fancy vivid pink diamonds over 10 carats is nearly unheard of—in over 250 years of auction history at Christie’s, only four such stones have ever appeared for sale.

“To find a diamond of this size with this color is pretty much unreal,” Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s international head of jewelry, said in a statement. “The discovery of this previously unrecorded and remarkable diamond will cause immense excitement with collectors and connoisseurs of diamonds around the world.”

The Gemological Institute of America awarded the Pink Legacy the highest diamond color grading of “vivid.” Vivid colored diamonds represent the most strongly saturated hues in gems. In addition, the Pink Legacy classifies as a Type IIa diamond, which contains little if any nitrogen and accounts for less than two percent of all gem diamonds.

“Pink diamonds of any size and depth of color have always had a special allure even amongst knowledgeable industry members,” says GIA executive VP Tom Moses. “The 18.96 carat emerald cut pink diamond is amongst the rarest of all gemstones.”

While all colored diamonds are hot investment items, newly discovered pink diamonds continue to spark intense interest among collectors. In July, mining firm Rio Tinto unveiled a record-breaking vivid pink called the Argyle AlphaTM, which clocks in at 3.14 carats. Attention towards rare pink diamonds has stayed strong in recent years, and if the latest sales of similar pink diamonds are any indication, the Pink Legacy could strike a spectacular final price. Looking back to 2017, Sotheby’s sold the 59-carat Pink Star diamond for $72.1 million, the highest price ever paid for a diamond or jewel at auction. Months later, Sotheby’s dropped the hammer for a 33.63-carat fancy light pink diamond for around $12.8 million, setting a new world record for a fancy light pink diamond sold at auction—it calculated out to about $2.6 million per carat. And last November, Christie’s sold a 14.93-carat Fancy Vivid VVS1 pink diamond (dubbed the Pink Promise) for $31,861,000—approximately $2.13 million per carat.

 

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