"Pink champagne" diamond star lot at Geneva sales

Wed Nov 10, 2010 11:15am EST
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By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters Life!) - A rare pink diamond could set a world record next week in a revived international market chasing strong prices for top quality jewels, auction firm Sotheby's said on Wednesday.

The standout stone, estimated at $27-38 million, is among 550 lots on offer at a November 16 auction in Geneva.

Vintage pieces by French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels which belonged to now deceased socialites Christina Onassis and Cristina Ford are also on the auction house's block.

The rectangular pink diamond, bought from American jeweler Harry Winston 60 years ago by the current anonymous owner, has top grading for purity and color. Set between small white diamonds on a platinum ring, it weighs 24.78 carats, about the size of a pinball or a large marble.

"During 35 years in the business at the top end of auctions, I have seen a lot of private collections around the world and I've probably only seen two or three other stones that come even close," David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's jeweler department in Europe and the Middle East, told Reuters.

"It's like pink champagne," he said.


Colored diamonds -- blue, yellow and pink -- are especially prized by collectors in Asia and the Middle East.   Continued...

<p>An employee poses with a 24.78 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond at Sotheby's in Geneva November 10, 2010. The diamond, mounted as a ring, is estimated to fetch up to $38 million when it is auctioned by Sotheby's as part of its Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on November 16, 2010. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud</p>