Sotheby's eyes world record with rare pink diamond

Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:55am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Sotheby's is billing it as one of the world's great diamonds and expects it to smash the auction record for any jewel.

A fancy, intense pink, 24.78 carat stone which was last on the market around 60 years ago is estimated to be worth $27-38 million when it goes under the hammer at a sale in Geneva on November 16.

"It is one of the most desirable diamonds ever to come to auction and its beauty has haunted me since the very first time I set eyes on it some years ago," said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's jewelry department in Europe and the Middle East.

The lower end of the expected price range is comfortably ahead of the world record auction price for any jewel, set in December 2008 when the fancy grey-blue Wittelsbach Diamond fetched $24.3 million

The pink stone has not appeared on the market since it was bought some 60 years ago from U.S. jeweler Harry Winston.

Sotheby's will show the diamond and other highlights of upcoming jewelry sales in Geneva and New York at its London showroom this week.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>An employee poses with a 24.78 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond at Sotheby's in London October 25, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>