Sotheby’s Hong Kong has announced the holding of its Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale for 2017, on April 4, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the sale being led by one of the world’s great natural treasurers, the 59.60-carat, oval mixed-cut “PINK STAR”diamond, the largest Internally Flawless, Fancy Vivid Pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), estimated in excess of US$60 million/HK$468 million. Apart from the “Pink Star” diamond a total of 196 other jewelry lots will be on offer at the sale featuring rare and exquisite design masterpieces, alongside works by legendary jewelry makers, such as Bulgari, Cartier, Mauboussin, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb and Harry Winston. These lots vary in estimate from as low as HKD 30,000/USD 3,866 to a high of HKD 40,000,000/USD 5,155,200. and include a variety of jewelry such as bracelets, brooches, earrings and ear-clips, necklaces, pendants, rings and an Art Deco Mystery Clock by Cartier. The variety of gemstones incorporated in these lots include, colorless and colored diamonds, colored stones such as emeralds, jadeite, rubies, sapphires etc., and natural and cultured pearls.
Announcing the sale of the “Pink Star”diamond, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division, Davit Bennett, said, “At a time of unprecedented demand for the finest in colored diamonds, I am delighted to be bringing this magnificent stone back to the market. The extraordinary size of this 59.60-carat diamond, paired with its richness of color, surpasses any known pink diamond recorded in history.”
QUEK Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman, Asia, and Chairman International Jewellery, Asia, said, “Over the years Sotheby’s Hong Kong has played host to many outstanding stones and sales; including the 118.28-carat oval D-color flawless diamond sold in Oct 2013, the still-current world auction record for any white diamond, as well as the fancy vivid blue 10.10-carat De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, which set a record for any jewel sold at auction in Asia in April 2016. The market for the world’s finest diamonds and gemstones remain buoyant and Sotheby’s Hong Kong, is honored to present at auction, the “Pink Star” this spring, following these world records.”
The 59.60-carat, “Pink Star” diamond previously known as the “Steinmetz Pink” diamond was cut and polished by master cutters of the Steinmetz Group in 2003, from a rough stone weighing 132.5 carats, mined by De Beers from an unidentified African mine in 1999, and subsequently acquired by the Steinmetz Group. The finished diamond was unveiled in Monaco on May 29, 2003, at a public ceremony, and was briefly worn around the neck of super-model Helena Christensen. The “Steinmetz Pink” diamond was exhibited at the “Splendor of diamonds” Exhibition held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, in Washington D.C. between June 27th and September 30th, 2003. It was again put on display at the “Diamonds” exhibition, held at the Natural History Museum in London, between 8th July 2005 and 26th February 2006.
The “Steinmetz Pink” diamond was first sold to an anonymous buyer for an undisclosed sum, by a privately negotiated sale by its owners the Steinmetz Group in the year 2007. The new anonymous owner of the diamond renamed the diamond, the “Pink Star” diamond. The anonymous owner of the “Pink Star” diamond entrusted the auction house Sotheby’s to sell the diamond at its Geneva “Magnificent Jewels Sale” that was held on November 13, 2013. A pre-sale estimate of US$ 60 million was placed on the “Pink Star” diamond, which was widely expected to be surpassed at the auction, given the unprecedented demand for high-quality pink diamonds at that time, and the fact that a pink diamond of lesser color grade – fancy intense pink – and less than half the weight of the “Pink Star” diamond, viz. the 24.78-carat, fancy intense pink “Graff Pink” diamond – registered a record price of US$ 46 million at a Sotheby’s auction also held in Geneva in November 2010. The final hammer price did indeed surpass the estimated US$ 60 million and the “Pink Star” diamond sold for an unprecedented US$ 83 million at the Sotheby’s Geneva auction on November 13, 2013, the highest ever price realized by any jewel at a public auction. However, not long after the sale it was reported that the consortium of buyers, led by diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, who successfully bid for the diamond at the auction, reneged on the purchase, which was confirmed by Sotheby’s in February 2014, which stated in its annual report that the diamond was still part of its inventory, and valued at US$ 72 million. It is believed that the auction house had bought back the diamond from its owner/seller as it had guaranteed that price to the anonymous owner/seller of the diamond.
Sotheby’s announced in June 2016, that it has entered into a partnership with two other firms for the diamond, viz. Diacore Group of Companies Ltd. (formerly Steinmetz Group of Companies Ltd.) and Mellen Inc. Diacore, is a multinational company, with diversified interests in the diamond industry, as a supplier of rough and polished diamonds to customers around the world and manufacturing facilities in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and New York, renowned for crafting rare, exceptional diamonds as well as unique high- end jewelry. The 203.04-carat De Beers “Millennium Star” diamond and the magnificent 59.60 carat, flawless fancy vivid pink “Pink Star” diamond are both creations of Diacore. Mellen Inc. is a third generation, family-run private jeweler based in New York.
Sotheby’s on behalf of the two investors on the Pink Star diamond and on its own behalf, is putting up the 59.60 carat, internally flawless, fancy vivid pink, oval mixed-cut diamond for sale again at its Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale coming up on April 04, 2017. Currently, the most valuable diamond ever sold at a public auction is the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond, which fetched a record-breaking price of US$57.5 million at a Christie’s Geneva Sale held on May 18, 2016. However, given the fact that the “Pink Star” diamond is more than double the weight of the 24.78-carat “Graff Pink” diamond, which set the world record price of US$ 46 million for a pink diamond ever sold at an auction, at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in November 2010 and even has a better color-grade of fancy vivid than the said diamond, while at the same time having a clarity-grade of Internally Flawless, it might not be surprising if the “Pink Star” diamond not only sets a new world record for a pink diamond sold at an auction but also a new world record for any diamond/gemstone or for that matter any single jewel sold at an auction.
OTHER COLORED DIAMOND HIGHLIGHTS
Among the other colored diamond highlights of the sale are lots 1784 and 1786.
Lot 1784 – “Very Fine Fancy Intense Blue Diamond and Diamond Ring.” with a pre-sale estimate of HKD 30,000,000 – 40,000,000 (USD 3,866,400 – 5,155,200) is another colored diamond highlight of the sale. The size 5¼ white gold ring is set with a square emerald-cut, Internally Flawless, fancy intense blue diamond weighing 3.13 carats, flanked by two step-cut colorless diamonds. Circular-cut colorless diamonds are set as accent stones on the shank of the ring. GIA report number 10095242 accompanying the lot, dated 13 December, 2016, states that the 3.13 carat diamond is natural, Fancy Intense Blue Colour and Internally Flawless. Diamond type classification report accompanying the lot states that the diamond has been determined to be Type IIb. Estimated total weight of colorless diamonds approximately 2.50 carats, color-grade F to G color, and clarity grade VS, as gauged and graded in the mounting.
Lot 1786, titled “Fancy Intense Purple-Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring,” has a pre-sale estimate of HKD 18,000,000 – 25,000,000 (USD 2,319,840 – 3,222,000) placed on it. The size 6, platinum and 18k white gold ring is set with a heart-shaped, fancy intense purplish-pink, 3.30-carat diamond as its centerpiece, highlighted by a row of circular-cut, colorless diamonds. Circular-cut diamonds also mounted as accent stones on the shank of the ring. GIA report number 13456158, dated 23 March, 2007, accompanying the lot states that the 3.30 carat heart-shaped diamond is natural, Fancy Intense Purple-Pink Colour and VVS2 Clarity. Estimated total weight of colorless diamonds approximately 0.70 carat, average color-grade G and average clarity-grade VS, as gauged and graded in the mounting.