World’s Largest Fancy Intense Pink Diamond To Be Auctioned

Luxe Life

World’s Largest Fancy Intense Pink Diamond To Be Auctioned

Prepare to be dazzled – no, tickled pink – by “The Raj Pink”, the world’s largest known Fancy Intense Pink diamond, at Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels” auction in November.

Published on 7 November 2017

From the rising popularity of rosé to rose gold, our modern aesthetic has yet to fall out of love with la vie en rose – and that applies to the world of jewellery auctions, too, it seems. Earlier this year, The Pink Star – a 59.60-carat oval, mixed-cut Fancy Vivid Pink Internally Flawless diamond – set a new world auction record for any diamond or jewel when it was auctioned by Sotheby’s in April in Hong Kong for US$71.2 million.

For those still sore about having been pipped to the post by Dr Henry Cheng Kar-Shun – chairman of the Hong Kong jewellery group Chow Tai Fook (who placed the winning bid by telephone) – Sotheby’s upcoming Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale on 15 November in Geneva may offer another tantalising opportunity to take ownership of a truly remarkable pink diamond.

A truly remarkable stone

Diamond, Diamond Ring, Pink, Pink Diamond, Auctioned, Sothebys, Sotheby

At 37.30 carats, “The Raj Pink” – an exceptionally rare Fancy Intense Pink diamond – is the largest of its kind in the world, commanding a pre-auction estimate of up to approximately US$30 million (SFr.30 million).

“The physical characteristics of the diamond are truly exceptional, in terms of its hue, size and brilliance,” David Bennett, the worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, says of The Raj Pink, which was discovered in South Africa in 2015. “I would also emphasise that the discovery of any pink diamond of this quality is extraordinarily rare. When you take into consideration its size and the cushion-modified brilliant cut, which shows off its colour to great effect, you have a truly remarkable stone.”

The Raj Pink’s owner, who has so far chosen to remain anonymous, famously had the original rough diamond studied for over a year after its discovery before entrusting it to a master cutter, who managed to expose the diamond’s innermost beauty through a brilliantly executed cutting process.

Bennett notes that experts at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) have offered some particularly intriguing insights into the cutting of the diamond: ‘While the shape of a rough diamond often suggests the diamond’s final shape…the cushion brilliant shape and cutting style effectively channel and intensify the colour appearance of coloured diamonds. The cushion’s slightly curved sides and rounded corners give visual balance to the precise, hard-edged geometry often associated with the diamond faceting of today. Intricately cut, triangular, and kite-shaped facets interact with light and produce flashes that enliven and enhance the diamond’s overall appeal. Lastly it is not unusual for cutters to modify a cutting style in efforts to produce the most desirable appearance in a coloured diamond.”

A rare, unique opportunity for buyers

Diamond, Diamond Ring, Pink, Pink Diamond, Auctioned, Sothebys, Sotheby

Despite its relative newness to the auction market, and as a diamond with a fairly minimal backstory, this in itself holds a certain appeal. “We are delighted to be celebrating 10 years of Noble Jewels sales at Sotheby’s Geneva, and certainly provenance is one factor which appeals to some of the buyers who participate in our sales,” Bennett explains. “However, the discovery of a new diamond, of this quality, which has never been offered at auction before or worn by anyone, offers a different kind of opportunity: for bidders to play a part in the start of a diamond’s story, before it has ‘belonged’ to anyone.”

A chance to possess a brand new jewel, apparently, is just as rare as finding a pink diamond. According to Sotheby’s, of all the diamonds that are submitted to the GIA each year, less than 0.02% are predominantly pink – which may provide an idea of what an extremely rare occurrence it is to discover a gem-quality pink diamond of any size. This makes The Raj Pink well-suited to an appearance on the prestigious auction block of Sotheby’s Geneva, where it will inevitably appeal to eagle-eyed, enthusiastic collectors.

“Over the years, Geneva has become the world’s most important centre for jewellery auctions. This tradition goes back 30 years, to the legendary sale of the Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1987,” says Bennett. “From a practical point of view, the city’s geographical location and central time zone also allows bidders from all over the world to take part in the auctions remotely.” Across the globe, it appears the auction market’s desire for pink diamonds – not to mention diamonds in other shades – is already growing noticeably.

“We’ve really seen demand for coloured diamonds take off during the last 10 years. I think that people have begun to really understand just how rare these stones are, and as that understanding deepens, we’ve seen a number of record prices within a very short space of time. Of course, the media attention and excitement that generates contributes even further to the general awareness among collectors and the general public.” When asked whether there’s a possibility of The Raj Pink coming close to matching or beating the record set by The Pink Star, Bennett is quick to clarify the differences between the two.

“At this level of rarity and importance, each diamond is unique and has its own distinct personality. I should point out, however, that the Pink Star was an even richer colour grade of Fancy Vivid Pink,” he adds.

As for those collectors who aren’t quite so compelled by The Raj Pink, they might want to look in the direction of Lot 337: a Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ring crafted by the Israeli jeweller Moussaieff (pictured below). With a top estimate of just over US$17.7 million (SFr. 17.6 million), it’s just as respectable an example of a terrific coloured diamond worth bidding on, and it also happens to be framed in marquise-shaped pink diamonds. There’s no escaping the rose-tinted life these days.

Diamond, Diamond Ring, Pink, Pink Diamond, Auctioned, Sothebys, Sotheby

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