Pink diamond sells for world record price

The Pink Legacy diamond. Image: Christie's.

A pink diamond that was first cut in the 1920s has reached a world-record sum at auction.

Categorised as fancy vivid pink, the 18.96-carat diamond, named Pink Legacy, reached 50.3 million Swiss francs ($68.8 million) at the Magnificent Jewels auction run by Christie’s in Geneva, Switzerland. This priced the diamond at around $3.6 million per carat.

The diamond had been estimated to sell for between $US30–50m ($41–69 million) at auction.

It was discovered in South Africa and was previously owned by the former owners of De Beers.

Christie’s has referred to the Pink Legacy as the “largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever offered” at any of its auctions.

Pink Legacy is a Type IIa diamond, which are chemically very pure with little to no nitrogen content. This category accounts for less than two per cent of gem diamonds worldwide.

The diamond was purchased by American jewellery company Harry Winston, which has dubbed it the Winston Pink Legacy.

Australia is well-known for the production of pink diamonds at the Rio Tinto-run Argyle mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The company broke records with two diamonds at a tender earlier this week that saw the sale of 63 rare pink, red and violet diamonds from the mine.