One of the world's rarest diamonds - a 24.78 carat pink has been sold by Sotheby's in Geneva for a world record US$46 million. The gem had been expected to achieve an impressive US$1 million per carat but exceeded even that and became the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction. Bidding for the stone was intense before it finally sold to London based jeweller Laurence Graff who described it as the most fabulous diamond that he had seen in his career. He has named it The Graff Pink. The pink diamond is among less than two per cent of the world's diamonds categorised as ‘potentially flawless’ because it needs re-polishing.
The previous highest price paid for a diamond at auction was US$24.3 million for The Wittelsbach blue diamond in 2008. It too was bought by Laurence Graff.
David Bennett, Chairman, Europe and the Middle East, Sotheby's International Jewellery Department, states: "During my 35-year career at Sotheby's I have had the opportunity to examine many magnificent and rare gemstones and, put simply, this stone is one of the most desirable diamonds I have ever seen. What makes it so immensely rare is the combination of its exceptional colour and purity with the classic emerald-cut - a style of cutting normally associated with white diamonds and one that is so highly sought-after when found in rare colours such as pink and blue. The stone's character is further enhanced by the gently rounded corners which impart a unique softness and charm to this truly outstanding gemstone."
'It is a world record price for a jewel at auction,' said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's jewellery department in Europe and the Middle East, as he brought down the hammer to applause in the packed sales room. 'It's like pink champagne.'
The stone's rare, perfect pink colour is thought to have been caused by it absorbing light in an unusual way when it was formed deep inside the earth over millions of years.
The stone came to the market from a private collection and has not appeared on the open market since it was purchased some 60 years ago from Mr Harry Winston.