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Pink Diamond Disappoints at Sotheby’s Auction

Nov 16, 2017 4:47 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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RAPAPORT... The world’s largest known fancy intense pink diamond failed to sell at a disappointing Sotheby’s Geneva auction Wednesday, in which several star items did not find a buyer.

Bidding on the cushion modified brilliant-cut, 37.30-carat, VS1-clarity Raj Pink started at $10 million (CHF 9.9 million), but stalled at $14.1 million (CHF 14 million), Reuters reported. Sotheby’s had estimated the piece would fetch $19.8 million to $29.8 million.

The stone has a strong blue fluorescence, meaning it gives a glowing effect under ultraviolet light that reduces its popularity among some Chinese buyers, explained Eden Rachminov, founder of the Fancy Color Research Foundation, who attended the auction.

“It’s a common phenomenon,” Rachminov said. “Some Chinese clients are quite particular.”

However, the high-end market is “not just okay, but very good,” Rachminov added. “Look at what happened at Christie’s,” he pointed out, referring to Tuesday’s Geneva auction in which the 163.41-carat Art of de Grisogono, Creation 1, fetched $33.7 million, a record for a D-color, flawless diamond.

The Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction was 87% sold by lot, with total proceeds amounting to $78.7 million (CHF 78 million). The top lot was a 33.63-carat, fancy light pink, VVS1-clarity diamond ring by Harry Winston that sold for $12.8 million, or $381,154 per carat — a world auction record for that color. An 18.86-carat ruby and diamond ring fetched $5 million, translating to $263,510 per carat, the auction house said.

Other high-profile pieces that did not sell included two unmounted fancy intense yellow diamonds, known as the Donnersmarck Diamonds, which had been estimated at $8.9 million to $13.9 million.

A 7.41-carat, fancy vivid blue, internally flawless diamond ring, signed by designer Moussaieff, also failed to sell at auction, having been expected to fetch $13.9 million to $17.9 million. However, the piece sold privately immediately after the sale for an undisclosed amount, Sotheby’s said.
Tags: Joshua Freedman, Rapaport News
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