The overall auction set a record, too
The Unique Pink (pictured), the largest pear-shape fancy vivid pink to ever be sold at auction, scored $31.6 million, or $2 million per carat, at a May 17 auction at Sotheby’s Geneva—a new record for a fancy pink vivid.
The final price, bid by an Asian private, falls in the middle of the 15.38 ct. diamond’s $28 million–$38 million estimate.
The overall sale raised $175 million, a record for a jewelry auction, topping the $160.1 million record set by a Sotheby’s auction last year. It also set a record for an online purchase at a live auction, as one buyer purchased fancy blue and fancy orangy pink diamond earrings for $6 million.
Ehud Laniado, the head of Cora International, which also cut the record-setting Blue Moon and the Sun Drop, says the latest eyebrow-raising auction price proves that diamonds can be viewed as an asset.
He notes that in the wake of the all-time benchmark set by the Blue Moon, several blue diamonds have emerged from the vaults, including the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 and the Oppenheimer Blue, which is going on the block today.
“People are bidding very high prices, which means that they don’t see diamonds as just an expense,” he says. “They are starting to be seen as an asset, more than something you just use in jewelry. In 11 years, pink stones have gone up by 350 percent. Compare that to gold, which only went up 150 percent.”
One notable blue—the Shirley Temple Blue—recently did not meet its reserve, but Laniado says that it has a deep color: “With deep, the light doesn’t shine back. It shows the market understands.”
The outside world needs to be educated about the rarity of the best stones, he says: “We have to continue to educate people that these are rare assets, and they have resale value. And that must spread to white stones. There are more Picassos than 100 ct. D-flawlesses.”
(Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)