With the news of Christie's breaking a world record last night for 'The Orange' a 14.82 carat diamond that sold at US$35.5 million in Geneva at a record price of US$2,398,151 per carat, expectations are high for another thunderball of a diamond coming up for sale at Sotheby's tonight. The same evening in New York, the auction world acheived another milestone: the highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction for Francis Bacon's paintings of Lucian Freud sold for $142 million by Christie's.
This all augurs well for the 60 carat Pink Star that is expected to achieve in excess of US$60 million, making it the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction.
The diamond has already generated ripples of excitement within the auction world as potentially the diamond to break all world records. Called The Pink Star, the one-of-a-kind 59.60ct oval-cut pink diamond is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond every graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). More than twice the size of the 24.78ct Graff Pink fancy intense pink diamond, which sold in Sotheby's Geneva in 2010 for US$46.2 million and currently holds the record for the most valuable gemstone or jewel sold at auction, it also exceeds in both size and richness of colour any pink diamond found in state, royal or private collections.
Remarkable in every way, The Pink Star is internally flawless and a beautifully saturated shade of pink known as Fancy Vivid - the highest possible colour grade for a pink diamond. It also falls into the rare Type IIa subgroup of diamonds, renowned for their flawless purity and exceptional optical transparency, which make up only 2% of all diamonds.
Unearthed by De Beers as a 132.5ct rough in 1999 in Africa, the stone was originally sold in 2007 under a different name, the Steinmetz Pink. Now renamed The Pink Star, this extraordinarily rare gemstone will be showcased on a worldwide tour of Sotheby's auction houses, including Hong Kong, New York, London, Zurich and Geneva.
"I have had the privilege of examining some of the greatest gemstones in the world over the past 35 years and I can say, without hesitation, that The Pink Star diamond is of immense importance," says David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby's Jewellery Division in Europe and the Middle East and Chairman of Sotheby's Switzerland. "It is difficult to exaggerate the rarity of vivid pink diamonds weighing only 5ct, so this 59.60ct stone is simply off any scale and passes, I believe, into the ranks of the earth's greatest natural treasures."