A 3.06-carat pink diamond ring will be the star of an upcoming jewelry sale at Heritage Auctions, where it is set to fetch as much as $300,000.
The modified marquise-shaped, fancy-pink stone, surrounded by 0.55 carats of full-cut diamonds, will lead the December 4 Holiday Fine Jewelry Signature Auction in Dallas, Texas, Heritage said Monday.
Other standout items include pieces by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Tiffany & Co., and diamond earrings created in 1950 by Parisian jeweler Jean Schlumberger. One of the more interesting lots is an enamel and 18-karat gold helicopter by Pierno Frascarolo & Co.
A pair of pear-shaped fancy pink pendant diamond earrings, weighing 11.17 carats and 10.85 carats, are to be sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.
The estimate is $5.48m to $7.01m. Both diamonds are GIA-certified as Fancy Pink, Natural Color, VVS1 Clarity.
The pink diamonds are set in platinum and yellow gold suspended from a pear, marquise-shaped and brilliant-cut diamond surmount weighing a total of approximately 6.5-7.5cts, mostly F-H color, average VS-SI clarity.
The lead tomorrow’s Magnificent Jewels I. The sale also includes a Harry Winston diamond fringe necklace with nine pear-shaped diamonds weighing 14.93 to 2.04 carats (estimate $4.46m to $6.37m) and a 5.49-carat fancy intense blue diamond ring (estimate $4.84m to $6.37m).
The second largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond to ever appear at auction was unveiled Wednesday in London by Sotheby’s. The 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star will be sold in a single-lot auction in Hong Kong on October 5. Its estimate is $21 million.
The auction house says it has the potential to set a new per carat price record for a fancy vivid pink diamond.
“We do have the confidence that it will find a great collector and have the interest of multiple parties,” Wenhao Yu, chairman of Jewellery and Watches at Sotheby’s Asia, told Forbes on Tuesday. “It has the potential to reach a very strong price.”
He adds, “This diamond truly checks all the boxes. It has the best qualities you can have in a pink diamond.”
The current price per carat auction record for a fancy vivid pink diamond is $2,656,909 for the 18.96-carat Winston Pink Legacy, sold in 2018 by Christie’s Geneva. The largest internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond offered at auction is the 59.60-carat CTF Pink Star. It was sold by Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2017 for $71.2 million, a world record for any gem or jewel sold at auction.
Yu compares the Williamson Pink Star to an exceptional work of art.
“We timed this lot to be offered between Sotheby’s modern and contemporary art auctions. That’s because instead of offering just another important diamond, we view this diamond as a work of art from mother earth and a wonder of nature,” Yu says. “It’s comparable to a Monet or a Picasso and is even more rare.”
The Williamson mine is one of the oldest operating diamond mines in the world, famous for producing what is described as “bubblegum” pink diamonds, according to the auction house. One of the best-known diamonds from the mine is the 23.6-carat Williamson Pink Diamond fashioned into a brooch by Cartier and owned by Queen Elizabeth II.
“We wanted to relate the important provenance of the Williamson mine when naming the diamond,” Yu says. “The unique saturated pink color is one of the important qualities of diamonds from this mine. It is an honor for us that after so many decades another important pink diamond comes from the Williamson mine and we can offer it at auction.”
The cushion-shaped diamond was crafted from a 32.32-carat rough diamond by Diacore, a diamond manufacturer that specializes in crafting rare, exceptional fancy-colored diamonds. The company purchased the gem in late 2021 for $13.8 million. Yu says crafting the diamond is just as important as discovering it, and Diacore is one of the few companies in the world capable of cutting and polishing such an important gem.
“Not every rough can yield a diamond of this high quality so we should also give credit to Diacore,” he says. “They really made cutting and polishing into an art. They are very skilled and experienced with the best technology and a lot of courage. It’s rare to have a vivid pink color. It’s rarer when it’s over 10 carats and even more rare if it’s internally flawless. It’s luck to find this kind of diamond that was formed underground for millions of years, and it takes a great amount of art and creativity to fashion it into a gorgeous stone with so many exceptional qualities.”
Pink diamonds are among the rarest colors to occur naturally in diamonds. Of all the diamonds submitted to the Gemological Institute of America (which analyzes and grades diamonds), fewer than 3% are classified as colored diamonds, and fewer than 5% of those are considered predominantly pink.
The Argyle Mine in Australia, before it was retired in 2020 after exhausting its supply of gem-quality diamonds, produced more than 90% of the world’s pink diamonds. The absence of pink diamonds from this mine makes important pink diamonds like the one being offered even more rare, Yu says.
“Pink diamonds are still growing in demand in the market, and this now makes the Williamson Pink Star even more sought after,” he says.
The diamond is being presented in an 18k gold ring flanked by trapeze-cut diamonds and embellished with brilliant-cut diamonds.
London is the first stop where the diamond will be viewed by the public. It will then travel to Dubai, Singapore and Taipei before the final viewing and sale in Hong Kong.
Two hearts, one blue, the other pink, will appear at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels auction as if they were always meant to be together. They will be sold separately during the July 10 sale at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Combined, their high estimate is $18.5 million.
The first is a 5.04 carat fancy vivid blue heart modified brilliant-cut diamond. The gem has a VS2 clarity grade, according to its lab report. The heart-shaped gem is mounted on a platinum ring flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds. Its estimate is between $7.7 million and $9.7 million.
Its would-be partner is a 4.49-carat heart modified brilliant-cut, internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond. It’s mounted on an 18k white gold ring flanked by pear-shaped diamonds. Its estimate is between $7.5 million and $8.8 million.
FANCY PINK DIAMONDS soared 116% in value over the past decade, outpacing blues (81%) and yellows (21%), according to a report by the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF), an Israel-based group that tracks diamond pricing data in the global trading centers of Hong Kong, New York and Tel Aviv.
While the overall index for fancy-color diamonds — across all their brilliant hues — increased by 77% from 2009 to 2019, it was the pink diamond category that stood out in the report.
Market watchers believe that the strength of the pink-diamond segment is attributed to the expected closure this year of the Argyle Diamond Mine, which has been operating in Western Australia for the past 37 years.
“Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine is the first and only ongoing source of rare pink diamonds in history,” said Rio Tinto Copper & Diamonds chief executive Arnaud Soirat in 2019. “With the lifecycle of this extraordinary mine approaching its end, we have seen, and continue to see, unstoppable demand for these truly limited-edition diamonds and strong value appreciation.”
Back in April of 2017, The Pink Star, a 59.6-carat, flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond, shattered the world record for the highest price ever paid for any gem at auction. The hammer price of $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale in Hong Kong easily surpassed the $57.5 million achieved in May of 2016 by the previous record-holder, the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue diamond.
In November of 2018, the 18.96-carat Pink Legacy was purchased for $50.3 million at Christie’s Geneva, establishing a record per-carat price of $2.7 million for a fancy vivid pink diamond. The previous record holder was the 14.93-carat Pink Promise, which sold at auction for $2.2 million per carat in 2017.
FCRF advisory board member Jim Pounds explained why prices for fancy-color diamonds should remain strong: “From the mining perspective, we are currently experiencing a shortage in high-quality fancy-color rough and we therefore feel quite optimistic about the future.”
Do you know the Martian Pink from the Perfect Pink, the Sweet Josephine or the Pink Promise? Christie’s jewellery specialist Marie-Cécile Cisamolo tells the stories of these and other fabulous pink diamonds that have bedazzled our salerooms
Prices for top-quality, large pink diamonds have increased exponentially in recent years, driven by collector demand and increasingly limited supply. Pink diamonds gain their highly desirable colour as a result of a rare, naturally occurring slippage of the crystal lattice in the stone while it is forming deep within the Earth’s crust. Here we take a look back at some of the biggest and the best stones and pink diamond rings sold at Christie’s in recent times.
A Fancy Vivid Pink rectangular-cut diamond, 5.18 caratsSold for $10,709,443 in 2015
Set on a lady’s ring with a unique oval-shaped, gold-mounted diamond surround, this pink stone was the star lot of Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in May 2015 in Geneva.
Because fewer than 10 per cent of pink diamonds weigh more than 0.2 carats, this example, at 5.18 carats, sold for almost a million dollars more than its low estimate.
The Vivid Pink, a Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, 5.00 caratsSold for $10,776,660 in 2009
Flanked on either side by shield-shaped diamonds, this pink stone is set on a platinum and 18k rose gold ring designed by the British jeweller Graff. When it went under the hammer in Hong Kong, ‘The Vivid Pink’ sold for more than double its low estimate and achieved the highest price ever paid per carat for a pink diamond at the time ($ 2,155,332). The record remained unbeaten until the sale of ‘The Pink Promise’ by Christie’s in 2017.
This example is certified ‘IIA’ by the Gemological Institute of America — meaning it has a particularly rare, almost homogenous colour.
The Grand Mazarin, a Light Pink brilliant-cut diamond, 19.07 caratsSold for $14,461,250 in 2017
This square-shaped diamond, which is a particularly light shade of pink, was given by Cardinal Mazarin to Louis XIV in 1661. It then spent 225 years as part of the French crown jewels, passing through the hands of four kings, four queens, two emperors and two empresses, before its 1887 sale when the royal treasury was dispersed and its whereabouts became unknown.
In 2017, while on a site visit to a client’s house, ‘Le Grand Mazarin’ was revealed from inside an old parcel paper to Christie’s jewellery specialist Jean-Marc Lunel. ‘Holding such an important piece of French royal history in my hands was unbelievable,’ he would later recall of the historic diamond’s rediscovery.
The Clark Pink, a Fancy Vivid cushion-cut purplish-pink diamond, 9.00 caratsSold for $15,762,500 in 2012
Stored in a bank vault since the 1940s, this unique purplish-pink diamond is set in a Belle Epoque ring made by Dreicer & Co. and formerly belonged to the reclusive American mining and railroad heiress, Huguette M. Clark. When it sold for almost double its upper estimate in 2012, it became the most expensive pink diamond ever seen at auction in the United States.
The ring was the top lot of a collection of 17 of Clark’s jewels that were auctioned by Christie’s, which also sold her collection of paintings by artists including Monet, Renoir and Whistler, two years later.
The Martian Pink, a brilliant-cut Fancy Intense Pink diamond, 12.04 caratsSold for $17,395,728 in 2012
Mounted on an 18k gold ring by the famous New York jeweller Harry ‘King of Diamonds’ Winston, this ring was nicknamed ‘The Martian Pink’ by his son Ronald, who was inspired by the 1976 launch of a US satellite to photograph the ‘red planet’ Mars, and the stone’s similar strong pink colour.
The Martian was certified as having virtually no nitrogen in its crystalline structure and unlike most pink diamonds, which exhibit tones of purple, orange or grey, it shows absolutely no trace of any secondary colour. As a result, it sold for more than double its low estimate when it went under the gavel in Hong Kong in 2012.
A Fancy Vivid Pink pear-shaped diamond, 9.14 caratsSold for $18,174,632 in 2016
Only a few mines in the world produce pink diamonds, and of those diamonds that are cut and polished only one in roughly 10 million will possess a colour pure enough to be graded ‘Fancy Vivid’.
This large example, which is mounted between tapered baguette-cut diamond shoulders on a platinum ring, was certified Fancy Vivid in June 2016 by the Gemological Institute of America, helping it push past its top auction estimate and achieve more than $18 million when it sold in Geneva in the same year.
The Perfect Pink, a Fancy Intense rectangular pink diamond, 14.23 caratsSold for $23,165,968 in 2010
At the time of this stone’s sale in 2010, it was one of only 18 pink diamonds weighing more than 10 carats to have ever appeared at auction. And of those 18, none apart from this diamond had ever been graded Fancy Intense Pink at the time of its sale, which placed it in a league of its own.
Flanked on either side by two clear diamonds mounted in 18k rose gold and white gold, the pink diamond sold for almost 30 per cent more than its upper estimate when it appeared in the Hong Kong saleroom, demonstrating a strong demand for coloured diamonds in Asia.
The Sweet Josephine, a cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, 16.08 caratsSold for $28,523,925 in 2015
Mounted in a diamond twin-surround and with a diamond-set hoop, this ring set a new world-record price for any pink diamond when it sold at Christie’s in Geneva in 2015. Owned by an American family for 15 years prior to the sale, the stone was, at the time, the largest cushion-shaped pink diamond classified as Fancy Vivid Pink to ever come to auction.
After the sale the diamond, which sold for around $5.5 million more than its lower estimate, was named ‘The Sweet Josephine’ by the winning bidder in honour of his seven-year-old daughter.
The Pink Promise, an oval-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, 14.93 caratsSold for $32,480,500 in 2017
This pink stone, with its circular-cut diamond surround featuring more pink diamonds and a platinum ring, set a new price-per-carat world record for any pink diamond when it sold in 2017 — a whopping $2,175,519.
The diamond’s initial grading was Fancy Intense before the jeweller, Stephen Silver, cut it down from 16.21 to 14.93 carats in 2013, shaving off areas of inclusions after years of detailed planning. The resulting stone was upgraded to the much rarer Fancy Vivid category, the highest possible colour mark for pink diamonds.
The Princie, a cushion-cut Fancy Intense Pink diamond, 34.65 caratsSold for $39,323,750 in 2013
The Princie pink diamond was discovered about 300 years ago in India, and was initially owned by the Nizams of Hyderabad. It was first auctioned in 1960, where it was purchased for £46,000 by Van Cleef & Arpels. The diamond was promptly named ‘Princie’, and the house threw a christening party for the stone in its Paris showroom.
Of the seven million diamonds that have passed through the Gemological Institute of America, no more than 40 have exhibited a rare orange glow when examined under ultraviolet light, and the Princie is the largest of all of them. This fluorescent quality pinpoints the stone’s origin to the Golconda mines of India.
As it is the largest Golconda-type Fancy Intense pink diamond to ever be graded by the GIA, it’s little wonder that it sold for almost $40 million when it appeared in the sale room in New York in 2013, making it the most expensive pink diamond ever sold at Christie’s — a record it still holds.
Rio Tinto will offer a 3.14-carat, vivid pink diamond at its 2018 tender, the largest stone of its color in the history of the annual sales event.
The emerald-cut Argyle Alpha (pictured, third from left) is one of 63 rare pink, red and violet diamonds — weighing a combined 51.48 carats — featuring in this year’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender. It is part of a collection of six “hero” diamonds the miner will offer at the sale.
“Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine is the world’s only source of these highly coveted pink, red and violet diamonds, and we expect considerable interest in this year’s collection,” Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques said Thursday. “The combination of strong demand and extremely limited world supply continues to support significant value appreciation for Argyle pink diamonds.”
This year’s tender, which the company has called Magnificent Argyle, also includes the Argyle Muse, an oval-cut, 2.28-carat stone, which is the largest purplish-red diamond ever offered at the tender, and came from a 7.39-carat rough. A second diamond, cut from the same stone, will also be up for sale.
The other hero diamonds include the square-radiant-shaped, 1.29-carat, fancy vivid purplish-pink Argyle Maestro; the princess-shaped, 1.57-carat, fancy dark grey-violet Argyle Alchemy; the Argyle Odyssey, a round brilliant, fancy intense pink stone weighing 2.08 carats; and the radiant-shaped Argyle Mira, a 1.12-carat fancy red.
Rio Tinto will unveil the gems at a world exclusive preview in Sydney, and will also showcase them in Hong Kong and New York. Bidding for the diamonds closes on October 10.
The company held its first Argyle Pink Diamond Tender in 1984.