Sotheby’s Australia’s is preparing to sell the first recorded ‘one carat plus’ pink diamond to have been retrieved from the East Kimberly in Western Australia, at auction in Melbourne on May 12 2015.
Set in an 18ct gold ring, the rare marquise-shaped 1.03ct natural fancy vivid pink diamond is accented by brilliant-cut diamonds. The jewel is estimated to sell at $330,000-530,000 (£170,000-£270,000).
The pink diamond was purchased in the rough by Mr William Leslie in 1981. One of the founding Directors of Ashton Mining Ltd, Mr Leslie was a member of the Joint Venture Development Committee, Ashton Joint Venture. The diamond was sourced while the group were in the exploration phase, undertaking a feasibility study for the commercial viability of a mine which would later market their diamonds from the East Kimberley as Argyle Diamonds.
In late 1981 the pink diamond was subsequently polished in London and made into the ring under the supervision of acclaimed designer Stuart Devlin. The scarcity of fancy vivid pink diamonds has driven them to the forefront of the world’s most coveted coloured diamonds.
Also to be auctioned at the ‘Important Jewels’ event is a very rare ‘Willows’ yellow sapphire weighing 35.73 carats. The Australian mined sapphire, which has been set into a pendent, is the largest natural yellow sapphire ever to be offered at auction in Australia.
In 1946 the sapphire was discovered on the Willows field in Central Queensland, about 341km from Rockhampton. The large gemstone is a clear golden yellow stone, placing it in a very exclusive category of Australian yellow sapphires. It is the largest and finest that the American Gemological Laboratories has examined to date.
Chairman of Sotheby’s Australia, Geoffrey Smith, said: “Sotheby’s Australia is honoured to be entrusted with two extremely rare and magnificent Australian gemstones. Both stones form a unique part of Australia’s mining history and reflects the superior quality of gems found in this country.”
The Important Jewels sale consists of over 250 lots of designer pieces, watches and gemstones with a pre-sale estimate range of $2.9 to $4.2 million (£1.5n to £2.1 million).