A private Asian collector is the proud new owner of the 18.18-carat "Fortune Pink" diamond after placing the winning bid of 24.5 million Swiss francs ($24.6 million) at Christie's Geneva on Tuesday. With the buyer's premium, the final price for the stone touted as the largest pear-shaped "fancy vivid pink" diamond ever to appear at auction rose to $28.4 million Swiss francs ($28.5 million).
With a capacity crowd on hand to witness the excitement at the Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, bidding started at 17 million Swiss francs and continued to escalate for four tense minutes. Three telephone bidders vied to capture the diamond whose 18.18-carat weight carat promised to bring prosperity to the owner because the pairing of "18s" literally translates to “get rich for sure” in Chinese.
The unnamed Asian collector finally broke free from the pack by hiking his final offer by 500,000 Swiss francs.
The final price of $28.5 million ($1.57 million per carat) was in the lower range of the Christie's presale estimate of $25 million and $35 million.
The Christie's official who had been communicating the winner's bids via the telephone told AFP that the Asian collector described the successful purchase of the Fortune Pink as a "dream come true."
Max Fawcett, head of Christie's jewelry department in Geneva, told CBS News that the Brazilian-sourced Fortune Pink is a "truly incredible diamond" and a "true miracle of nature."
The extreme rarity of an 18-carat pink diamond of this quality is amplified by the fact that fewer than 10% of pink diamonds weigh more than 1/5 of a carat, according to the Gemological Institute of America. What’s more, only 4% of pink diamonds possess a color saturated enough to qualify as “fancy vivid.” Pink diamonds fall under the rare Type IIa category of diamonds, which make up less than 2% of all gem diamonds.
The largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever sold at Christie’s was the rectangular-cut, 18.96-carat “Winston Pink Legacy,” which achieved $50.37 million and set a world record price-per-carat for a pink diamond at auction ($2.65 million).
“The Pink Star” still holds the record for the highest price paid at auction for a pink diamond. That 59.6-carat, flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond fetched $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2017. It was purchased by Hong Kong luxury jeweler Chow Tai Fook and renamed the “CTF Pink Star.” Not only did it set a record in the pink category, but also shattered the world record for the highest price ever paid for any gem at auction.
Pink diamonds have become increasingly rare since the 2020 closure of Australia’s Argyle Mine, which had been the source of 90% of the world’s pink diamonds.
Credit: Image courtesy of Christie’s.