“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Christie’s Luxury sale in Geneva, November 2022 – Part 2

Christie’s Luxury sale series returns to Geneva this autumn, including highlights from the finest wines, historic vintages and limited edition watches to the rarest diamonds. We selected a few interesting lots from the watch auction preview in the previous part and now here is an amazing gemstone to discover.

The Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction features a curated selection of historic and modern jewellery from different periods as well as creations of the most famous jewellery Maisons such as Harry Winston, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and more.

UPDATE – 8 November, 2022: The price realised is CHF 28,436,500 for the Fortune Pink (GIA, 2022, report no. 2155980868: 18.18 ct, Fancy Vivid Pink, natural colour, VVS2 clarity, Type IIa).

This autumn Christie’s announced The Fortune Pink (estimate: US$ 25,000,000-35,000,000), an 18.18 carat pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond which will lead the sale on 8 November 2022. This rare diamond will be on display to the public during Christie’s Luxury Week at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva from 2 to 8 November. 

To-date the largest vivid pink diamond sold at Christie’s was the 18.96 carat Winston Pink Legacy, which achieved CHF 50,375,000 and set a world record price per carat for a pink diamond sold at auction. Another exceptional stone is the Pink Promise, a Fancy Vivid pink diamond with a total weight of 14.93 carats and a clarity of VVS1 was auctioned on 22 November 2017 at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Hong Kong sale at US$ 32,163,932 (we covered it here). 

UPDATE: The 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star diamond, auctioned by Sotheby’s Hong Kong, sold for $392 million Hong Kong dollars ($49.9 million) 7 October, 2022 – set a current world record for the highest price per carat for a diamond sold at auction.

Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery: “After The Rock, a 228 carat diamond sold this May in Geneva, Christie’s is proud to present The Fortune Pink, the largest pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond offered for sale at auction. With its auspicious weight of 18.18 carats this exceptional pink diamond of phenomenal colour will certainly bring good fortune to its new owner.” 

Pink diamonds

As other ‘fancy colour’ diamonds, pink diamonds are rare. Of all the diamonds submitted to the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), less than 3% are classified as coloured diamonds, and less than 5% of those are considered predominantly pink. The colours of these stones range from Fancy Deep Pink, Fancy Vivid Pink, Fancy Intense Pink, Fancy Pink, and Fancy Light Pink to Faint Pink, according to the GIA. The more vivid a colour is, the more it is worth (considering all other factors are the same). Therefore, what appears on the GIA’s final diamond certificate can potentially change the value of the gemstone tremendously. Although many characteristics can be measured by machines, gemstone colour is still something that the human eye must judge. The colour grade of a stone must be determined identically and independently by two diamond experts before it is announced (the stone may be sent to additional graders who enter their own colour opinions). 

It is more or less known how other natural fancy coloured diamonds get their colour (for example some diamonds can contain boron, which is responsible for most diamonds that are blue or greyish blue) there is only speculation on how pink diamonds get theirs. One theory states that seismic shock from an earthquake or volcanic eruption propelled colourless diamonds to the surface and altered their molecular structure, causing them to appear pink.

Historical pink diamond sources include India, Brazil, Indonesia (Borneo), and southern Africa. More recently, mines in the Siberian and Arkhangelsk regions of Russia have been documented as producing pink to purple-pink diamonds. 

But the Argyle Diamond Mine located in the East Kimberley region in the remote north of Western Australia was (1983-2020) the world’s only consistent source of pink diamonds, accounting for more than 90 percent of the world’s natural pink diamond supply. However the Argyle Diamond Mine closed at the end of 2020 as the mine is now depleted – making pink diamonds even rarer than before. The annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender – which featured a carefully curated catalogue of the finest gems from Argyle and an exclusive, invitation-only clientele – ended in 2021. 

Source: Christie’s press release. Photo credits: Christie’s, Rio Tinto Argyle
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