A rare pink diamond at 15.81-carat has fetched a record $29.3 million in Hong Kong, setting a world-record auction price for a gem of the kind. The purple-pink diamond, named ‘The Sakura’, which translates to the Japanese word for cherry blossom was put under the hammer by the auction house Christie’s. The rare coloured gem is set on a platinum ring and has been classed as ‘fancy vivid’ because of its intensity of color and being ‘internally flawless,’ which means that any internal blemish on the stone can only be identified under a very powerful microscope. Not much is known about the buyer but initial information said it was bought by an Asian private buyer, reports said.
Alongside ‘the Sakura’, another vivid heart-shaped pink diamond ring was also auctioned, titled ‘The Sweet Heart’ at 4.2 carat for $6.6 million.
“We are very excited to have marked another important chapter in jewelry auction history today with The Sakura realizing a record-breaking price … continuing Christie’s tradition of offering the finest pink diamonds at auction," Christie’s said in a statement.
The Sakura eclipsed the earlier auction of ‘The Spirit of the Rose’, a 14.8-carat purple-pink diamond which was sold for over $27 million in Geneva last November. Sotheby’s had estimated that the flawless oval gem, “The Spirit of the Rose," could fetch $23 millon-$38 million at the Geneva sale. Bidding opened at $16 million and climbed to the final hammer price of $21 million, plus commission. It was bought by a telephone bidder who chose to remain anonymous, Sotheby’s said.
Coloured stones have been greatly valued as an asset class by the super rich in recent years with top-quality pink diamonds especially prized. Naturally coloured diamonds occur because they possess a particular lattice structure that refracts light to produce coloured, rather than white stones.
Less than 10 percent of purple-pink diamonds weigh more than a fifth of a carat, which made ‘The Sakura’, which is almost eight times that size, the largest “fancy vivid purple pink” one to be offered at any auction.