59ct Pink Dream diamond sells for £51m at auction

Stone bought by New York diamond cutter Isaac Wolf sets world record.

The Magnificent Jewels sale at Sotheby’s Geneva came alight last night, with the 59.60ct Pink Dream diamond selling for US$83 million (£51.8m), setting the world record for a diamond or jewel at auction.

The Sotheby’s sale also achieved the highest jewellery sale total in history, reaching $199,512,930 (£124m), with a combination of lots including luxury jewellery and loose stones.

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The record-breaking 59.60ct internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond was originally known as the Pink Star. It was bought at last night’s auction by the famous New York-based diamond cutter Isaac Wolf who renamed it the Pink Dream following the sale.

Sotheby’s dubbed the sale a "landmark", with the stone eclipsing the previous world record for a stone or jewel at auction of $46.2 million (£28.8m), established three years ago by Sotheby’s Geneva by the Graff Pink, a 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond.

The chairman of Sotheby’s jewellery division in Europe and the Middle East and chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland David Bennett said of the stone: “The [Pink Dream] is a true masterpiece of nature. Its immense importance was reflected tonight in the strength of the bidding and we are thrilled that the record price it achieved earned it a place in history. The record sale is a further testimony to the strength and depth of the diamond and jewellery market.”

Four bidders competed for the stone, which is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.

The diamond was bought after nearly five minutes by Wolf. The diamond – lot 372 in the sale – received the highest colour and clarity grades from the GIA for pink diamonds, it has also been found to be part of the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds, known as Type IIa:, with stones in this group chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency.

The stone was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, and the 132.5ct rough diamond was painstakingly cut and polished over a period of two years. The diamond was presented for the first time at auction with an estimate of $60 million (£37.4m).

Other world auction records were also set during the sale, including the record for a jewel by Van Cleef & Arpels for the Walska Briolette Diamond Brooch, featured on page 39 of this month’s issue of Professional Jeweller. The brooch, which features a 96.62ct VS2 fancy vivid yellow diamond briolette, sold for $10,555,778 (£6.58m), including the buyer’s premium.

A pair of colourless, IF brilliant-cut diamond earrings of 23.77ct and 23.78ct respectively sold for $9,213,009 (£5.74m), setting the world record for colourless diamonds at auction.

Sapphires were also a hit at the sale, with world auction records broken for sapphire jewellery, a Kashmir sapphire at auction, price per carat for a sapphire at auction, and for a Burmese sapphire at auction, achieved by a pair of sapphire earrings and a single stone of 114.73cts.



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