A 14.83-carat purple-pink fancy vivid diamond sold for $26.6 million with premium and set a record for a stone of its color at Sotheby’s in Geneva this week. Named after a Russian ballet from 1911, the Spirit of the Rose was won by an anonymous buyer over the phone. After just three bids, the jewel hammered at 21 million CFH ($22.9 million), landing below the estimate of CHF 21.1 million–CHF 34.8 million ($23 million–$38 million).
Before coming to the market, the gem was cut from a large pink crystal stone unearthed in Russia in 2017 by international diamond producer Alrosa, which is based in the country’s northeast region. It was the largest raw stone of its color ever found by the firm, according to Sotheby’s statement.
“With its size, beautiful colour, perfect cut and oval shape, it is a wonder of nature, steeped in Russia’s century-long diamond tradition and cultural heritage,” said Benoit Repellin, head of Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels” sale, in a statement.
Graded according to the Gemological Institute of America’s color scale, colored diamonds are among the rarest and most valuable; pink and red stone achieve some of the highest prices. Many colored diamonds develop hues through chemical impurities; the pink color, however, is caused by a defect in the stone’s crystal lattice.
Due to scarcity of pink diamonds, these gems have seen record prices at auction in recent years. The price for Spirit of the Rose still comes well below the current record of $71.2 million paid for a colored diamond named CTF Pink Star, a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, which sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2017. In 2018, an 18.96-carat diamond dubbed the Pink Legacy sold for a record price of $50 million at Christie’s in Geneva, against a low estimate of $30 million.
The trend may continue following the closure earlier this month of Australia-based diamond mine Argyle, formerly the largest global supplier of pink and colored diamonds.