Do you know the Martian Pink from the Perfect Pink? Christie’s #jewellery specialist Marie-Cécile Cisamolo takes you through 10 history-making pink diamonds which have bedazzled our salerooms. #WednesdayWisdom https://t.co/1ko6R9nMKT pic.twitter.com/kwOZxiJCpX— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) October 3, 2018
1661 The Jewels of the French Crown
2017 SOLD for CHF 14.4M including premium
Cardinal Mazarin was an avid collector of art and jewelry. When he died in 1661 he left 18 diamonds to the Crown as a dation in payment that allowed him to pass on the rest of his huge inheritance to his family. This group includes the Sancy which was considered as the most beautiful diamond known in Europe until the discovery of the Régent.
At that time all the major diamonds had been extracted from Golconda mines. It was not until 1725 that a Brazilian source came to compete with that Indian provenance.
Note that the Beau Sancy which adorned the crown of the coronation of Marie de Médicis was a personal gift to her by King Henri IV and was not inalienable. It left France in 1641 and was sold for CHF 9M including premium by Sotheby's on May 15, 2012.
On November 14 in Geneva, Christie's sells as lot 600 Le Grand Mazarin which had been a major piece of the cardinal's bequest. Analyzed by the GIA before the auction, this brilliant cut diamond weighing 19.07 carats is of type IIa. Its VS2 clarity is sensational for a historic diamond. Its light pink color is extremely rare.
Le Grand Mazarin was worn by Queen Marie-Thérèse wife of Louis XIV, then by King Louis XIV himself in a chain and later by Empress Marie-Louise wife of Napoléon I in a diadem made by Nitot.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's and read the instructive featured post that accompanies it.
(previous purchase 1904) Improvement of an Old Pink Diamond
2015 SOLD for CHF 14.8M including premium
Ancient diamonds have a potential for improvement. For example, Graff removed 4 carats from his Blaue Wittelsbacher to improve its clarity.
In her estate, the Clark diamond weighed 9.00 carats with a SI1 clarity that was indeed not exciting.
It is now offered by Sotheby's on May 12 in Geneva. It has been reduced to 8.72 carats to improve its clarity to VS2, guaranteed by GIA. Mounted on a ring between two small D color diamonds, this gem is estimated 13,65M CHF corresponding to US $ 14M, lot 460.
Its provenance was also researched and it received the name of Historic pink. This diamond had been bought by Dreicer at the auction of the estate of Mathilde Bonaparte in Paris in June 1904.
(previous purchase ca 1950) The Year of the Pink Diamonds
2010 SOLD 45.4 MCHF including premium
This trend accelerated on 1 December 2009, when a fancy vivid pink weighing 5 carats reached HK $ 83M including premium at Christie's in Hong Kong, i.e. U.S. $ 2.1 million per carat.
I have already discussed a few days ago the Perfect Pink, a fancy intense pink of VVS2 clarity weighing 14.23 carats, estimated HK $ 110M by Christie's, for sale on November 29.
In this fall, it has found a serious competitor. On November 16 in Geneva, Sotheby's auctions another fancy intense pink diamond, also of VVS2 clarity, also emerald cut, but bigger. Weighing 24.78 carats, it is mounted on a ring and estimated CHF 27M. It is illustrated in the article shared under Creative Commons protocol by LeBlogLuxe. This diamond was already known: 60 years ago, it was purchased to Harry Winston. It had never come back on the market.
Here are two recent examples that confirm the popularity of the pink color.
On October 3 in Toronto, Circa Auctions sold Can $ 2.3M a fancy intense orangy pink weighing 10.11 carats, clarity not found in the catalog.
On October 6 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sold HK $ 60M including premium a diamond ring including a fancy vivid pink, VS2 clarity, weighing 6.43 carats.
POST SALE COMMENT
I had no doubt before the sale, and nobody can have a doubt now: the fancy intense pink diamond sold by Sotheby's is one of the most outstanding lots of current year. The result, CHF 45.4 million including premium corresponds to a value per carat never achieved previously at auction for a diamond of that size: 1.8 MCHF per carat.
I invite you to play the video shared on the web by Sotheby's :
(previous purchase 1960) The Mystery of the Little Prince
2013 SOLD 39.3 M$ including premium
This diamond has not been seen publicly since 1960. It was then bought £ 46K at auction by Van Cleef & Arpels, who named it the Princie Diamond by friendship with the young prince of Baroda.
I found on the web a page made before the recent resurgence of the Princie Diamond, in which it is fifth in a list of the most famous pink diamonds, but with a wrong color shade.
Its true color, fancy intense pink, is a pleasant surprise, because this is one of the best and rarest colors. The 24.78 carats Graff Pink, sold CHF 45.4 million including premium (U.S. $ 1.85 million per carat) by Sotheby's on November 16, 2010 is also a fancy intense pink.
The provenance of the Princie was not revealed in 1960. The press release from Christie's tells that the seller was the Nizam of Hyderabad himself, which supports the hypothesis that this diamond had been extracted from Golconda.
Unfortunately, its VS2 clarity is not excellent. The Graff Pink, VVS2, is better by two grades.
On 6 October 2010, Sotheby's sold HK $ 60M including premium a VS2 fancy vivid pink weighing 6.43 carats, which approximately corresponds to U.S. $ 1.15 million per carat.
POST SALE COMMENT
The market is sometimes of a surprising regularity. I gave here above an example at $ 1.15 million per carat for a diamond of same color and same clarity.
The Princie was sold $ 1.135 million per carat including premium. Its exceptional size has generated an extraordinary price: $ 39.3 million including premium.
2003 The Pink Star
2013 recorded 76 MCHF including premium, UNPAID
2017 SOLD for HK$ 550M including premium
Its come back was eagerly awaited by all the fans of highest jewelry and of auction history. It will be sold by Sotheby's in Hong Kong on April 4, lot 1801. It is estimated in excess of HK$ 468M currently worth US$ 60M, according to the press release of March 20.
The essay below is based on my 2013 discussion :
Its subtle color, Fancy Vivid Pink, is the best graded among diamond colors. Internally Flawless means a perfect clarity. Its weight, 59.60 carats, is the highest recorded for finished flawless diamonds of that color. Its oval shape and its polish are the perfect result of two years of work executed by Steinmetz Diamonds.
It comes from a rough gem of 142.5 carats unearthed in 1999 by De Beers somewhere in Africa, which is currently the best location for new fabulous diamonds. Its mixed cut had required more than 50 subsequent models from epoxy casts. It was unveiled to the public in 2003.
It exceeds in all its features the Graff Pink, sold for CHF 45.4 million including premium by Sotheby's on 16 November 2010, which had 24.78 carats, a VVS2 clarity and a fancy intense pink color slightly lower in theory than the fancy vivid but indeed highly striking in this specimen.
The Pink Star is expected beyond US $ 60M, a suitable and even conservative estimate when we consider that it is "only" US$ 1M per carat, but nevertheless ambitious because no other gem has ever reached such a price at auction. (Note that this expected value has been kept unchanged before the 2017 sale).
Please watch the videos shared by Sotheby's : the 2013 pre sale video and the short video introducing the next auction :
Unique Qualities of a Pink Diamond
2016 SOLD for CHF 31M including premium
For this reason, pink diamonds offer a continuous range of hues from the paler (faint) to the most saturated (fancy vivid). The fancy intense pink often discussed in this column is less prestigious than the fancy vivid. The atomic intrusions can also generate more complex pinks approaching to purple or orange.
The most exceptional diamond ever offered at auction was the Pink Star, fancy vivid pink internally flawless weighing 59.60 carats. Its sale by Sotheby's on November 13, 2013 for CHF 76M including premium was later canceled after buyer payment deficiency.
On May 17 in Geneva, Sotheby's sells the Unique Pink, lot 495estimated CHF 26,9M.
This fancy vivid pink of astonishing transparency and splendid purity offers a very saturated color. The total absence of atomic intrusions in the carbon crystal was verified by spectroscopy. Without approaching the weight of the Pink Star, the Unique Pink remains nevertheless very large in its category, 15.38 carats. It is VVS2, the best clarity below internally flawless and VVS1.
Because of their creation by pressure during the formation of the rock, the pink gems have an axis. The jeweler takes it into account to choose the shape. The Pink Star, absolute wonder of mineralogy, has been cut as a perfect oval obtained after two years of work by Steinmetz Diamonds. The Unique Pink was pear shaped by Cora International.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Sotheby's :
The Pink Cushion
2015 SOLD for CHF 29M including premium
Two Fancy Vivid Pink ensured the prominence of this variety at auction although one of them was finally unsold.
A potentially flawless diamond weighing 5.00 carats, named The Vivid Pink, was sold for HK $ 83M including premium by Christie's on December 1, 2009, corresponding to US $ 2.1 million per carat.
The sensational Pink Star is enormous, 59.60 carats, and internally flawless. Sotheby's estimated it in excess of US $ 60M, corresponding to $ 1M per carat, in Geneva on 13 November 2013. Considering certainly in due course that this estimate per carat was too low for such an exceptional rarity, a connoisseur offered the highest bid but was unable to pay.
Another significant example is the Clark specimen, sold for CHF 14.8 million including premium by Sotheby's on May 12, 2015 after a clarity improvement from SI1 to VS2 for a final weight of 8.72 carats after its rework.
We should not misunderstand the example of the Pink Star: the fancy vivid pink weighing more than 10 carats are extremely rare. The other pink diamonds which recently achieved a very high price at auction due to their heavy weight are fancy intense pink, along with an interesting fancy vivid purple-pink.
On November 10 in Geneva, Christie's sells a cushion cut fancy vivid pink of VVS2 clarity weighing 16.08 carats, mounted on a ring in a surrounding of rows of small diamonds, lot 409 estimated CHF 22M.
Let me remind here the scale of clarities : IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2.
I invite you to watch the post sale video shared by Christie's.
The Perfect Pink
2010 SOLD 180 MHK$ including premium
Without being one of the heaviest pink diamonds, it still weighs 14.23 carats. This marvel of nature and of jewelry has special features that justify the estimate of HK $ 110M.
The color classified Fancy Intense Pink is saturated and pure, with no shade of secondary color. Its purity VVS2 is exceptional for a diamond of this category. The emerald cut is perfect, too, and the press release indicates that this quality is an assurance that the stone has not been modified.
Last year, I discussed here another pink diamond sold by the same auction house on 1 December 2009. Less intense, this 5 carats Vivid Pink had reached the stellar achievement of U.S. $ 2.1 million per carat.
POST SALE COMMENT
With US$ 1.67 million per carat, the Perfect Pink takes its place among the finest colored diamonds. It was sold HK $ 180M including premium.
I invite you to watch the post sale video shared by NTDTV :
Two Hues of Pink
2016 SOLD for CHF 21M including premium
On November 15, Christie's sells a pear-shaped fancy vivid pink weighing 9.14 carats. Its clarity is only VS2 but it is exceptional by the purity of its shade without any trace of secondary color. It is estimated CHF 16M, lot 216.
The fancy vivid pink is the most subtle variant. Let us quote the Pink Star, internally flawless weighing 59.60 carats, sold for CHF 76M including premium by Sotheby's on November 13, 2013 but unpaid by the buyer.
Another example more comparable in size and clarity to the gem coming for sale is the former diamond of Huguette Clark, reduced to 8.72 carats to achieve a VS2 clarity. It was sold for CHF 14.8M including premium by Sotheby's on May 12, 2015.
On November 16, Sotheby's sells a fancy intense pink weighing 17.07 carats, lot 336 estimated CHF 12M. Its clarity is sensational. It was graded VVS1 by the GIA including the suggestion for a polishing that would probably upgrade it to internally flawless. Its beauty is demonstrated in the video below.
The diamond for sale is emerald-cut, often considered as the best cut with regard to brilliance. The Graff Pink, another emerald cut fancy intense pink weighing 24.78 carats in clarity VVS2, was sold for CHF 45.4M including premium by Sotheby's on November 16, 2010.
Clarity is not enough to predict the price per carat. The saturation of the color provides in theory an advantage to the fancy vivid pink variant. Let us remind the scale of clarity : IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Christie's : SOLD for CHF 18M.
Sotheby's : SOLD for CHF 21M.
The Purple-Pink of Sotheby's Diamonds
2014 SOLD for HK$ 138M including premium
Diacore performs the processing of exceptional diamonds, such as the Pink Star of 59.60 carats internally flawless, whose come back at auction is expected after a default by its purchaser. It had been auctioned at CHF 76M including premium on November 13, 2013 at Sotheby's, corresponding to US $ 1.4 million including premium per carat.
Internally flawless pink diamonds are extremely rare, which further increases the uniqueness of the Pink Star.
Another diamond of similar quality, smaller but in a more delicate shade, is for sale at Sotheby's in Hong Kong on October 7, lot 1941. Its history is similar to the Pink Star's : extracted by De Beers and processed by Diacore. It is mounted on a pavé-set platinum ring signed by Sotheby's Diamonds.
This fancy vivid purple-pink internally flawless pear-shaped diamond weighing 8.41 carats is exceptional both for its clarity and for its rich color saturation. It is estimated HK $ 100 million, corresponding to US $ 1,53M per carat excluding fees.
Remind that the Vivid Pink, a 5.00 carat fancy vivid pink VS1 sold for HK$ 83M including premium on December 1, 2009 by Christie's had then recorded US $ 2.1 million including premium per carat.