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Christie's ‘Pink Legacy’ diamond garners record price

19-carat Pink Legacy diamond

The 19-carat gem was estimated at $30-50 million.

(Keystone)

A pink diamond that garnered CHF50.4 million ($50 million) at auction in the Swiss city of Geneva, breaks the record price per carat for a stone of its kind.

The 19-carat Pink Legacy was purchased by the American luxury jeweller Harry Winston, part of the Swiss Swatch group, Christie’s announced on Tuesday.

“$2.6 million per carat. That is a world record per carat for a pink diamond,” said François Curiel, chairman of the Christie’s.

The gem had a pre-sale estimate of between $30million and $50 million. 

The honour of the most expensive pink diamond goes to the almost 60-carat Pink Star that fetched a record price of over $83 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2013. However, the purchaser did not settle his dues resulting in the stone being auctioned again in Hong Kong in 2017 garnering a $71.2 million bid.

The biannual Geneva jewellery sale on Tuesday netted $110 million in total, with 86% of lots finding new owners, according to Curiel.

‘Incomparable’

The Pink Legacy has been described as "one of the world's greatest diamonds". It once belonged to the Oppenheimer family which for decades ran the De Beers diamond mining company.

The rectangular-cut diamond has been graded "fancy vivid" - the highest possible grade of colour intensity. The gem is internally pure with a classic rectangular cut and mounted on a platinum ring.

The stone was discovered in a South African mine around a century ago and was probably cut in the 1920s and has not been altered since, Christie's said.

The Pink Legacy is “the largest and finest Fancy Vivid Pink diamond ever offered at auction by Christie’s, which called the stone “incomparable.”

Only four vivid pink diamonds or over ten carats have ever been offered at auction. One of them, the nearly 15-carat Pink Promise, was sold last November at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong for US$32.5 million. That amounts to US$2.176 million per carat, which was previously the world auction record price per carat for any pink diamond.

There were at least five people bidding by phone for the pink stone on Tuesday in Geneva, but the winning bidder was a Harry Wilson representative sitting in the front row. Christie's refused to reveal the name of the seller.

swissinfo.ch with Reuters/AFP; urs

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