16.08-carat pink diamond sold for $40.5m

This diamond, bought by an unnamed bidder, is the largest cushion-shaped stone classified in the elite "fancy vivid" category to ever come to auction.
This diamond, bought by an unnamed bidder, is the largest cushion-shaped stone classified in the elite "fancy vivid" category to ever come to auction.PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA • A spectacular pink diamond, the largest of its kind to ever appear at auction, has been sold for US$28.5 million (S$40.5 million), narrowly beating auction house Christie's projection.

An unidentified bidder snatched up the 16.08-carat rare gemstone, kicking off a week of diamond auctions in Geneva. The pink diamond, owned by an American family for the past 15 years, is the largest cushion-shaped stone classified in the elite "fancy vivid" category to ever come to auction. Christie's had listed the projected sale price at between US$23 and US$28 million.

Only three pink stones classified by the Gemological Institute of America as "fancy" and weighing more than 10 carats have been up for sale in 250 years, Christie's said.

Coloured diamonds have been the centre of attention in the run- up to this week's magnificent jewel sales in Geneva, with experts insisting the market for such rarities has grown increasingly robust.

All eyes will next turn to Sotheby's. Its prized lot, dubbed "Blue Moon", a 12.03-carat blue diamond described by experts as flawless, will aim to shatter the record for a stone sold at auction.

Discovered in South Africa in January last year, the Blue Moon is the largest cushion-shaped blue stone in the fancy vivid category to ever appear at auction.

Sotheby's has put its estimated sale price at between US$35 million and US$55 million which, at the top end, would break the auction record.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2015, with the headline '16.08-carat pink diamond sold for $40.5m'. Print Edition | Subscribe