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