Pricey in pink

If you’re into diamonds and have $60 million to spare, Sotheby’s has just the thing for you

September 25, 2013
September 25, 2013

If you like diamonds, you’re going to love Sotheby’s latest gem.

On November 13 in Geneva, Switzerland, Sotheby’s will auction off “The Pink Star,” a flawless 59.60-carat colored diamond, which it expects to sell for over $60 million, Sotheby’s said in a statement (pdf). According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the stone is the largest internally flawless pink diamond it has ever graded.

It’s also slated to be the priciest. If the pristine gem garners the sort of money Sotheby’s is anticipating, it will become the most expensive diamond to have ever been auctioned off. The previous world auction record for a diamond (or any gemstone or jewel for that matter) was set back in 2010, when Sotheby’s raised $46.2 million for a pink diamond weighing 24.78 carats—less than half the size of The Pink Star.

However, if it goes for what Sotheby’s estimates, the price-per-carat of a little over $1 million will be relatively low. The record price-per-carat for a diamond at auction was set in 2009 with a 5.00-carat pink stone that sold for $10.8 million.

When it was mined in Africa by De Beers back in 1999, the stone weighed closer to 200 carats. It was then cut and polished by Steinmetz Diamonds over the course of two years, and first exhibited in 2003. The result, according to the chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division in Europe and the Middle East, David Bennett, is an unparalleled pink gem. “It is difficult to exaggerate the rarity of vivid pink diamonds weighing only five carats, so this 59.60-carat stone is simply off any scale,” Bennett said in a statement. It “passes, I believe, into the ranks of the earth’s greatest natural treasures,” he added.

The diamond was originally known as “The Steinmetz Pink,” and sold privately in 2007 for $45.6 million. But investment-grade diamonds—of which the Pink Star is a perfect example—have become popular investments among the wealthy, decreasing the number of high quality stones on the market, and increasing the asking price for those that pop up for sale or auction.

If the roughly $60 million it’s expected to raise at this year’s auction is too steep, Sotheby’s will also be auctioning off white and blue diamonds in in Hong Kong this October, which are likely to sell for a far more reasonable $28 million and $18 million, respectively.

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