A spectacular 18.96-carat pink diamond was auctioned Tuesday for more than 50 million Swiss francs (including fees), a record carat price for this color stone by Christie's auction house in Geneva.
This is a price of 44.3 million euros, or 49.9 million dollars, for a stone called "Legacy Pink".
This emerald gem diamond, which was discovered about a century ago in South Africa, was bought by American jewelry Harry Winston, owned by the Swiss Swatch swatch group, said auctioneer Rahul Kadakia, after 10 minutes of the auction was disputed on four.
The "Pink Legacy", which is estimated to be between 30 and 50 million dollars (excluding costs), was immediately renamed by the buyer "Winston Pink Legacy".
"$ 2.6 million per carat is the world's rust record for pink diamonds," said François Curiel, Christie's head in Europe. "This stone is for me Leonardo da Vinci's diamond".
This pink diamond from the Oppenheimer family, who for decades led mining company De Beers, was awarded the American Gemological Institute with the highest level of color intensity ("fancy vivid").
Most pink diamonds weigh less than one carat and diamonds of more than ten carats of "luxury" are almost unknown at the auction house.
This stone is also of type IIa, which represents less than 2% of all diamonds. These diamonds are among the most chemically pure, often with "extraordinary transparency and brilliance," according to the UK auction house.
The diamond might have been cut in 1920, according to Jean-Marc Lunel, an international jewelry specialist at Christie's.
A recording precedent for the carat prices of pink diamonds was reached in November 2017 in Hong Kong when Christie sold "The Pink Promise", a beautiful pink oval-shaped diamond with just under 15 carats, because of $ 32.48 million ($ 2.17 million per carat).
– Big diamonds don't sell –
Pink diamonds are the highlight of Christie's high jewelry sales, which amount to more than $ 110.2 million, according to a spokeswoman for auction house, Alexandra Kindermann.
86% of that amount was sold, but 53.53 carats of white diamonds, worth $ 3.25-5.25 million, were not sold.
One lot is very controversial: a beautiful necklace made of 28 natural pearls belonging to Martine de Behague (1869-1939), Countess of Bearn, which inspired the writer, poet and philosopher Paul Valery.
He traveled the world through the ocean on his ship, "The Nirvana", looking for ancient manuscripts and antiques. According to Christie's, he has bought all his life each of the 28 pearls that make up this necklace, whose closure is decorated with diamonds. It was auctioned for more than 1.15 million Swiss francs, while experts forecast it to be between 240,000 and 340,000 Swiss francs.
A pair of earrings, adorned with 15.38 and 15.20 carat sapphires surpassed by a myriad of small white diamonds, have been sold for 612,500 Swiss francs, against estimates ranging from 250,000 to 350,000 Swiss francs.
In addition, Horace's Elgin Dodge pearl necklace, co-founder of the American car maker Dodge, was sold far above the estimate, nearly 1.12 million Swiss francs.