A potentially flawless five carat pink diamond has sold at Christie’s for a sum of $10.8 million – a record $2.1 million per carat. The previous per-carat record was set by a 7.03-carat internally flawless fancy vivid blue stone, which sold at Sotheby’s for $9.48 million, or $1.35 million per carat, in May this year.
‘Internally Flawless’ or IF-grade diamonds are extremely rare, having no visible ‘inclusions’ (imperfections), even under 10-times magnification.
The diamond, which is cushion-cut and set in a ring was expected to realise between $5 and $7 million at auction but the unique piece of bespoke jewellery exceeded expectations. International Head of Christie’s Jewellery department, Francois Curiel, commented: “It is extremely rare for a stone of such top quality to appear on the market with top notes in colour, cut, clarity and carat weight. This 5-carat vivid pink gem combines the best of all criteria. No stone has ever been sold for $2 million a carat; we were used to a million dollars a carat for colored diamonds but never $2 million. This is an absolute record that is not going to be broken for a while, I believe.”
Pink diamonds were once thought to be the consequence of traces of the element Manganese in the crystal structure; now it is believed that a variation in the lattice itself gives them their distinctive and sought-after colour. In 1994, a 19.66-carat pink diamond sold in Geneva for $7.4 million – at the time, a record for a pink stone. Despite being a fraction of the size, the near-perfect nature of the ‘Vivid Pink’ made it one of the most valuable diamonds to go to auction in recent times.
A truly Magnificent Jewel
The sale of the Vivid Pink took place in Hong Kong at Christie’s Fall Sale of Magnificent Jewels. Items sold at the auction totalled $48 million, but the Vivid Pink stood out as the most impressive lot. Vickie Sek of Christie’s Asia said, “$2.1 million per carat is by far the highest price per carat achieved for any diamond worldwide, and, at $10.8 million, the Vivid Pink is the most expensive jewel sold at auction in 2009. Eight out of the 10 most expensive jewels were acquired by discerning Asian private collectors, confirming once again Hong Kong’s position as a major market for the finest gemstones.”