A rare vivid pink pear-shaped diamond was sold for 30.8 million Swiss francs (AU$42.8 million) at a Sotheby’s auction on Tuesday, breaking the record for vivid pink diamonds.
The “Unique Pink” 15.38 carat diamond mounted on a ring was snatched up by an Asian collector bidding by phone.
The worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewellery division David Bennet said the diamond set a new world record for a fancy vivid pink diamond, according to the ABC.
“It’s the highest price ever paid for a fancy vivid pink diamond,” he said.
The record was previously held by the 16.08 carat fancy vivid pink diamond “Sweet Josephine”, which sold for $38.8 million at Christie’s in November. It still holds the record for price per carat in the category.
More than 90 per cent of pink diamonds are said to be produced by WA’s Argyle diamond mine but due to dwindling supply, the demand for pink diamonds has led to an increase in their price.
Overall the sale made a net profit of $239 million, surpassing last year’s total of $218 million and, according to the company, setting a new world record for any jewellery auction.
In total, 83.2 per cent of the 488 lots on offer were sold, however many gems did not reach the reserve prices set by sellers, with “The Emperor Ruby” receiving a bid of $5.01 million.
“There were a few stones that were disappointing but overall the sale was a huge success,” Bennett said.
A British collection of 29 jewels by French jeweller Cartier sold for $4.6million, double its previous estimate.
Another world record was set for a fancy intense blue diamond brooch surrounded by diamonds – by the late Alexandre Reza, a Paris based jeweller – at $18.2 million.
“We’ve made a great effort to put together a sale that we thought was suitable for this particular market which is strong for the right things,” Bennet said.
“It seems to have paid off.”