Pear-shaped pink diamond sells for $31.5 million at Sotheby's

Tue May 17, 2016 5:06pm EDT
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By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - A rare pear-shaped vivid pink diamond fetched 30.8 million Swiss francs ($31.46 million) at auction on Tuesday, Sotheby's said, but several other large stones failed to reach the reserve prices set by the sellers.

The "Unique Pink", weighing 15.38 carats and mounted on a ring, sold to an Asian private collector bidding by telephone, the auction house said.

It was the star lot at the saleroom's semi-annual auction in Geneva, with a pre-sale estimate of $28 million-$38 million.

"The Unique Pink set a new world record for a fancy vivid pink diamond ... It's the highest price ever paid for a fancy vivid pink diamond," David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's international jewellery division, told reporters.

The "Sweet Josephine", a fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 16.08 carats, held the previous record since selling for $28.5 million at rival Christie's in November, and still retains the price per carat record in the category.

Overall, the Sotheby's sale netted $175.2 million, "setting a new world record for any jewellery auction", Sotheby's said in a statement. It eclipsed $160 million set a year ago.

In all, 83.2 percent of the 488 lots on offer found new owners, but "The Emperor Ruby" was among those stranded, with a bid of 3.6 million francs.

"There were a few stones that were disappointing but overall the sale was a huge success," Bennett said.   Continued...

A model poses with "The Unique Pink" diamond mounted during a preview at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva, Switzerland May 9, 2016.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse