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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

‘Unique Pink’ Sells For Record $31.5 Million At Sotheby’s

A 15.38-carat fancy vivid pink diamond sold for more than $31.5 million at Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva Tuesday, setting a record for a stone of its type. 

Called the “Unique Pink,” it achieved more than $2 million per carat. It is the largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever to come to auction.

It was sold by phone to a private Asian buyer, according to a source who requested anonymity. The buyer doesn’t appear to be Joseph Lau, the Hong Kong billionaire who has gained a reputation for paying exuberant sums at auction for diamonds and gems for his daughters, including the “Blue Moon, which set a world auction records for any diamond, gem or jewel. 

“It is difficult to imagine a diamond that better illustrates the term Vivid Pink than this outstanding stone,” David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said in a statement. “The color is simply astonishing and, for its size, it is in my experience truly unique.” 

The gem was sold by Cora International, a New York-based company that specializes in cutting and polishing rare important diamonds, including the Blue Moon. 

“Pink diamonds are among the rarest in the world and they are increasingly being viewed as an investment, said Ehud Laniado, Cora International chairman. “Diamonds are beautiful and a treasure of nature, but more than this, they offer an economy of rarity that is making them increasingly attractive to savvy investors.”

It was the top lot of a sale that set a world record for any jewelry auction, achieving more than $175 million with 83 percent of items sold by lot and with 70 percent of lots sold above high estimate. Three lots sold for more than $10 million and six lots for more than $5 million.

In addition the auction set a new record for an online purchase during a live auction with the sale of a pear shaped fancy blue and fancy orangy pink diamond earrings that sold for nearly $6 million, double its high estimate. 

Other records set at the auction held at the Hôtel Beau-Rivage are:

* An Alexandra Reza brooch featuring a 6.64-carat fancy intense blue diamond sold for more than 13.6 million, setting an auction record for a jewel sold by the famed Parisian designer. 

* An 18.51-carat fancy pink diamond pendant sold for more than $9.7 million ($528,021 per carat), setting an auction record for a fancy pink diamond.

* An 8.2-carat fancy purplish pink diamond ring sold for nearly$3.7 ($450,744 per carat), setting a record for a diamond of this color. 

There was a year-over-year 41 percent increase in the number of items sold online. In addition, the sale attracted bidders from 45 countries with 25 percent of bidders from Asia. 

Later today will be the sale of the 14.56-carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” the largest and finest fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. If the results of Tuesday’s auction are any indication, it will have a chance to eclipse the “Blue Moon.”

The first of two sessions of the auction is underway and so far sales are brisk with several items selling above the high estimate. 

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