June 11th, 2014
A 5.5-carat fancy vivid pink diamond was the shining star of yesterday’s Important Jewels sale at Christie’s New York as it earned a top bid of $9.57 million, more than $2 million above its pre-auction estimate.
At $1.74 million per carat, the oval-shaped gemstone with a clarity of VVS1, is in the same class as the world famous “Graff Pink,” a 24.78-carat fancy intense pink diamond, which was sold for $45.75 million ($1.84 million per carat) by Sotheby’s in 2010.
Pink diamonds with a winning combination of intense color, high quality and large size are extremely rare and aggressively sought by investors and gem aficionados.
Gem experts claim that approximately 1 in 10,000 carats of mined diamonds can claim gem quality and fancy color. Only 0.01% are fancy pink diamonds and a scant few exceed 5 carats in size.
Christie’s officials had underestimated the value of the 5.5-carat pink diamond by more than 25%. The auction house believed it would sell for $6.5 million to $7.5 million.
Another pink diamond recently in the news was the "Pink Star." Back in November 2013, the 59.6-carat internally flawless pink diamond had set an auction record for the highest price ever paid for a diamond when it fetched an astonishing $83 million at Sotheby’s Geneva.
Sotheby’s had guaranteed the sale, so when the winning bidder was not able to come up with the funds, the auction house was obligated to buy the stone for a pre-sale agreed-to price of $60 million.
A second notable piece from yesterday's New York auction was a platinum ring by Taffin, which featured a stunning rectangular-cut diamond weighing 20.08 carats. The D-color diamond boasts a VVS1 clarity and a Type IIa rating, which means it is chemically pure and has an exceptional optical transparency. Type IIa diamonds were first identified as originating from India (particularly from the Golconda region). The ring sold for $3 million.
In all, the Christie’s Important Jewels sale offered more than 220 items and achieved $27.5 million in sales. The auction house already has grossed more than $340 million during the spring auction season across its global showrooms.