When diamond marketers describe the qualities of diamonds, the adjectives they use can translate into millions of dollars — adjectives like “exceptional,” “supreme” and “vivid.”
Sotheby’s auction house has sold a rare pear-shaped vivid pink diamond for $31.5 million at an auction in Geneva, Switzerland, and stakeholders pulled out all the stops describing it.
The 15.38-carat diamond was found in South Africa in 2011 and sold for $2,052,094 per carat — a record, BusinessTech reported.
Response to the stone was overwhelming, said David Bennett of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division.
“The colour is simply astonishing and, for its size, it is in my experience truly unique. We set out to curate a sale that would speak to today’s collectors and the response has been overwhelming – confirmation, if ever it were needed, that when you have the right material, demand is as deep as it’s ever been.
“It is difficult to imagine a diamond that better illustrates the term Vivid Pink than this outstanding stone,” Bennett said.
Global demand for diamonds fell 2 percent in 2015 despite record sales in the U.S. as a stronger dollar and oil price collapse affected sales in Russia and the Middle East, Bloomberg reported.
Demand in the U.S., the No. 1 diamond consumer, rose 5 percent to an all-time high of $39 billion in 2015. But overall, total polished diamond sales fell from $81 billion in 2014 to $79 billion in 2015, according to De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer.
The world auction record for any pink diamond is the Graff Pink 24.78-carat emerald-cut fancy intense pink diamond, which sold for $46,158,674 in 2010, BusinessTech reported. That’s $1,862,739 per carat.
According to Sotheby’s the vivid pink diamond is supremely rare. “In addition to receiving the highest possible color grading for a pink diamond from the Gemological Institute of America , the “Unique Pink” has been found to be Type IIa, which means it has “exceedingly pure structure.”
“The stone’s exquisite pear shape and brilliant cut accentuate its exceptional saturation, placing it in a rarefied category even among the world’s most beautiful diamonds,” according to Bennett.
The diamond was sold to an Asian private collector bidding over the phone, BusinessTech reported.
Prices for rough diamonds fell 18 percent in 2015, the most since the financial crisis in 2008, according to Bloomberg.
A diamond the size of a tennis ball that was found in Botswana in November is expected to sell in June at auction in London for $70 million, CNNMoney reported.
The world’s second-biggest diamond, the “Lesedi la Rona” is an 1109-carat diamond so large that it didn’t fit into conventional scanners used to evaluate a stone’s potential worth. Determining an estimated price took months.
Sotheby’s said the diamond is the largest rough, gem-quality diamond in existence. The only known diamond larger than that diamond is the 3,106-carat “Cullinan” found in South Africa in 1905. Part of it ended up in the British crown jewels on display at the Tower of London.
The “Lesedi la Rona”diamond was on display at in New York May 7, and can be seen in London June 18-28, Sotheby’s said.
Its name, which means “Our Light” in Setswana — national language of Botswana — was picked from more than 11,000 entries in a public competition.