At its Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on Nov. 13, Sotheby’s is selling the "Pink Star," a 59.6 ct. oval cut pink diamond it calls the “most valuable diamond ever offered at auction.”
The auction house estimates the sale price will be “in excess of $60 million.”
As with the 118 ct. D flawless it is selling in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s clearly has its eye on the record books with this stone. It is more than double the size of the “Graff Pink”—the 24.78 ct. fancy intense pink diamond that established an auction world record for a diamond or jewel when it sold for $46.2 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010.
The current record price per carat for a pink diamond ($2.1 million), which this stone could beat, was set by a 5‐carat fancy vivid pink diamond at Christie’s Hong Kong in 2009.
The Pink Star is notable because it has received the GIA’s highest color and clarity grades for pink, but it also an ultra-rare Type IIA diamond, meaning it is more chemically pure than other stones and has greater optical transparency. It is also the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.
“The occurrence of pink diamonds in nature is extremely rare in any size,” said Tom Moses, GIA senior vice president, in a statement provided by Sotheby’s. “It’s our experience that large polished pink diamonds—over 10 carats—very rarely occur with an intense color. The GIA Laboratory has been issuing grading reports for 50 years, and this is the largest pink diamond with this depth of color [vivid pink] that we have ever characterized.”
The stone originated from a 132.5 ct. piece of rough mined by De Beers in 1999. It was cut and polished by Steinmetz Diamonds over a period of two years. It was eventually dubbed the “Steinmetz Pink,” and then sold and renamed the Pink Star.
The stone has already appeared in two museum attractions: the 2003 "Splendor of Diamonds" exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.; and the 2005 "Diamonds" exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London.
Sotheby’s plans to showcase the stone on a worldwide tour, taking it to Hong Kong, New York City, London, Zurich, and Geneva
From the JCK, September 24, 2013