Rare Pink Legacy Diamond Sells for Record Price in Switzerland

November 14, 2018 Updated: November 14, 2018

The largest and finest pink diamond to have ever graced a Christie’s auction has just sold for $50 million, a record price per carat.

The rare jewel’s new owner Harry Winston promptly renamed the diamond from its former name “Pink Legacy” to its new moniker “The Winston Pink Legacy,” according to a Christie’s news release.

The price of around $2.6 million per carat marked a world record for a pink diamond, according to the European head of the auction house Christie’s, BBC reported.

In the run-up to the sale, Christie’s International Jewelry Director David Warren told Reuters in London that the sale of the pink diamond was an extraordinary event for the auction house.

“In 40 years of working at Christie’s I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” Warren said. “It was a huge surprise when there it was, we saw it, and couldn’t quite believe that such a stone existed. It has wonderful purity and incredible brightness. It is beautifully cut, but it is the size and the color that just take your breath away.”

“The estimate is $30 million-$50 million, which is the highest estimate we have placed on any piece of jewelry at any time,” Warren added.

Just five minutes of bidding at the Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva, Switzerland, on Nov. 13, was all it took for the extraordinary gem to reach its $50 million selling price.

What Makes This Diamond So Special?

Rahul Kadakia, international head of Jewellery at Christie’s, explained in the news release why this 18.96-carat diamond fetched such a high price.

“The saturation, the intensity of this stone is as good as it gets in a colored diamond,” he said, according to the release.

“To find a diamond of this size with this color is pretty much unreal. You may see this color in a pink diamond of less than one carat. But this is almost 19 carats and it’s as pink as can be. It’s unbelievable,” Kadakia continued.

Scientists classify diamonds into two main categories—Type I and Type II, with the latter type having a rare, almost homogeneous color.

“Pink diamonds fall under the rare Type IIa category of diamonds,” said Kadakia. “These are stones that have little if any trace of nitrogen, and make up less than 2 percent of all gem diamonds. Type IIa stones are some of the most chemically pure diamonds often with exceptional transparency and brilliance.”

Christie’s posted an alluring video featuring exquisite close-ups of the gem.

“We are honored to be offering for sale The Pink Legacy, a magnificent vivid pink diamond, that once formed part of The Oppenheimer Collection,” the post is captioned.

The Pink Legacy has been awarded the highest diamond color grading—Fancy Vivid—by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the release notes, an honor conferred on but one out of 100,000 diamonds.

“Pink diamonds of any size and depth of color have always had a special allure. This 18.96-carat emerald cut pink diamond is among the rarest of all gemstones,” said Tom Moses, executive vice president of GIA.

Fancy Vivid Pink is an even rarer category, as diamonds of this particular hue are seldom encountered. In Christie’s 250-year history, only four Fancy Vivid Pink stones over 10 carats have ever come up for auction.

The Pink Legacy, reportedly with no trace of a secondary color and with a balanced saturation, tone, and straight pink hue, make this nearly 19-carat behemoth a highly coveted one of a kind.

The world auction price per carat for any pink diamond was achieved at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong in November 2017, when Pink Promise, an oval-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond of just under 15 carats, was sold for $32.48 million—an impressive $2.18 per carat.

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