Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale held on April 4, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, registered a total sale of HKD 908,081,250 (USD 116.9 million), setting three significant world records, viz. the record for any diamond or jewel sold at an auction or for that matter any lot sold by Sotheby’s in Asia; the record for any fancy vivid pink diamond sold at an auction; and the price-per-carat record for any fancy intense blue diamond sold at an auction. 60 percent of the total sale recorded, HKD 553 million (USD 71.2 million) was realized by just one lot, Lot No. 1801 – THE PINK STAR, ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT NATURAL TREASURES, which set the WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR ANY DIAMOND OR JEWEL SOLD AT AN AUCTION, shattering the previous record set for any diamond or jewel sold at an auction by the “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond which sold at Christie’s Geneva, approximately one year ago, in May 2016 for US$ 57.5 million. The previous auction record for any fancy vivid pink diamond sold at an auction was held by 15.38-carat, pear-shaped, fancy vivid pink “The Unique Pink” diamond, which also sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in May 2016 for US$31,561,200. Hence, the “Pink Star Diamond” also sets the world auction record for any fancy vivid pink diamond sold at an auction.
The 59.60-carat, oval mixed-cut, fancy vivid pink, Internally Flawless Pink Star diamond, the largest Internally Flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), was acquired by the Hong Kong based renowned jeweler, Chow Tai Fook, with the winning telephone bid being placed by none other than the Chairman of the company himself, Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun. The new owners of the extremely rare natural treasure, immediately renamed the “Pink Star” diamond as the “CTF PINK STAR” not only to honor the memory of the late Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, father of the current chairman and founder of Chow Tai Fook, but also to commemorate the esteemed brand’s 88th anniversary.
Commenting on this record-breaking sale, Sotheby’s President and CEO Tad Smith, said, “It is fitting that the owner of the most prestigious jeweler in Greater China should today break the record for the most valuable item ever sold in Asia as well as the most valuable diamond ever sold at auction – now appropriately named the CTF Pink Star. Sotheby’s has been honored and thrilled to serve this very discerning client for many years.”
Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division, David Bennett, in his comments, stated, “I am delighted that this magnificently beautiful diamond has been rightfully crowned the most valuable gemstone ever sold at auction. The price has more than doubled the record for a fancy vivid pink diamond that we set just last year in Geneva.”
The “CTF Pink Star” diamond becomes the latest addition to an outstanding collection of exceptional diamonds in the “Chow Tai Fook Collection” which includes the “Aurora Green” diamond, a 5.03-carat, fancy vivid green stone acquired in 2016 for HK$130 million/US$16.8 million, an auction record for a green diamond, and the “Cullinan Heritage” diamond an exceptionally rare, 507-carat, rough diamond acquired for HK$275 million/US$35.3 million in 2010, that was subsequently cut and polished over three years to create “A Heritage in Bloom,” a unique masterpiece of diamond jewelry.
The remaining 40% of the total sales registered at the sale, amounting to HKD 355,043,750 (USD 45.7 million) was realized by the sale of 196 other jewelry lots, which went under the hammer at the sale. Top lot of this sale was Lot 1784 – ” A 3.13-Carat Very Fine Fancy Intense Blue Diamond and Diamond Ring,” which sold within the pre-sale estimate of HKD 30 – 40 million (USD 3,866,400 – 5,155,200) for HKD 37.225 million (USD 4,790,858), setting the price-per-carat record for any fancy intense blue diamond sold at an auction of USD 1,530,626 per carat.
Other colored diamond highlights of the sale are Lots 1696, 1786 and 1685 falling within the top ten highlights based on the prices achieved.
Lot 1696, titled, “Important Fancy Orangy Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring,” with a pre-sale estimate of HKD 17,700,000 – 25,000,000 (USD 2,277,990 – 3,217,500) registered a hammer price within the estimated range of HKD 21,700,000 (USD 2,792,790). The size 6, 18k white and pink gold ring is set with a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut, fancy orangy-pink, VS2-clarity diamond weighing 11.44 carats, with pavé-set circular-cut diamonds on its shoulders.
Lot 1786 – “Fancy Intense Purple-Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring,” with a pre-sale estimate of HKD 18,000,000 – 25,000,000 (USD 2,319,840 – 3,222,000), also sold within the estimated range for HKD 19,900,000 (USD 2,561,130). 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.
Lot 1685 – “Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring,” sold slightly above the estimated range of HKD 9,700,000 – 15,000,000 (USD 1,248,390 – 1,930,500) for HKD 18,100,000 (USD 2,329,470 ). The size 6, 18k white gold ring is set with a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut, fancy vivid purplish pink, I-clarity diamond weighing 3.74 carats, with circular-cut diamonds mounted on the shoulders of the ring.
Top lot among colorless diamonds is Lot 1785, titled an “Important Pair of Unmounted Diamonds,” which sold within the estimated range of HKD 23,000,000 – 28,000,000 (USD 2,964,240 – 3,608,640) for HKD 27,662,500 (USD 3,560,164). The lot consisted of two perfectly matching, round brilliant-cut, D-color/top color, Flawless diamonds of excellent cut, polish and symmetry, weighing respectively 12.26 and 12.03 carats.
Lot 1789 – “Important Diamond Ring, Cartier, is another colorless diamond highlight of the sale which also sold within the estimated range of HKD 12,000,000 – 20,000,000 (USD 1,546,560 – 2,577,600) for HKD 18,700,000 (USD 2,406,690). The size 5, platinum ring signed Cartier and numbered 865062 and stamped 950pt for platinum mounting, is set with a rectangular emerald-cut, D-Color, Internally Flawless diamond weighing 17.05 carats.
Top among the Jadeite Lots are Lots 1779 and 1767, the 4th and 10th highest selling lots at the auction. Lot 1779 – “Important Jadeite and Diamond Demi-Parure,” consisting of a necklace and a pair of earrings, with a pre-sale estimate of HKD 20,000,000 – 30,000,000 (USD 2,577,600 – 3,866,400), sold within the estimated range, but slightly above the lower estimate for HKD 20,500,000 (USD 2,638,350). The necklace is composed of seven highly translucent, oval, jadeite cabochons of brilliant emerald green colour, embellished with circular-cut diamonds. Each of the matching pair of earrings is claw-set with a highly translucent oval jadeite cabochon, with a brilliant emerald-green color and a single round brilliant-cut colorless diamond.
Lot 1767 – “Important Jadeite Ring,” with a pre-sale estimate of HKD 7,000,000 – 9,000,000 (USD 900,900 – 1,158,300) sold slightly above the upper estimate for HKD 9,700,000 (USD 1,248,390). The size 6¾, 18k white gold ring, is set with an oval jadeite double cabochon of high translucency and brilliant emerald green colour, of dimensions 23.05 x 19.61 x 12.38 mm certified by the Hong Kong Jade & Stone Laboratory as natural A-Jade.
The 8th and 9th highest selling lots are both ruby containing lots, assigned nos. 1693 and 1780.
Lot 1693 – “Important Ruby and Diamond Ring,” with a pre-sale estimate of HKD 7,000,000 – 10,000,000 (USD 900,900 – 1,287,000) sold within the estimated range, slightly below the upper estimate for HKD 9,940,000 (USD 1,279,278). The size 6, 18k white and yellow gold ring is set with an oval-cut, vivid red, pigeon’s blood, natural Burma ruby, flanked on either side by a heart-shaped Burma ruby of richly saturated matching pigeon blood red color, weighing 2.12 and 1.89 carats respectively, highlighted by a row of circular-cut colorless diamonds on the gallery and shank of the ring.
Lot 1780, titled, “Important Ruby and Diamond Ring, Cartier,” with a pre-sale estimate of HKD 8,000,000 – 12,000,000 (USD 1,031,040 – 1,546,560), sold within the estimated range for HKD 9,700,000 (USD 1,248,390). The size 7¾, platinum ring, signed Cartier, is set with an oval-cut faceted natural Burmese ruby with a medium red color of strong saturation known in the trade as “Pigeon Blood” color, flanked on either side by a row of circular-cut colorless diamonds bordering the ring’s gallery. More circular-cut diamonds are set on the shoulders and upper shank of the ring.
The natural pearl highlight of the sale, which is also the 11th highest selling lot of the sale is Lot 1796 – “Important Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace.” This natural pearl lot performed extremely well at the auction selling for an enhanced price of HKD 8,620,000 (USD 1,109,394 ), which was 2.9 times the lower estimate of HKD 3,000,000 (USD 386,640) and 2.2 times the upper estimate of HKD 3,900,000 (USD 386,640). The 60 cm (23.6 in) Matinee length single-strand necklace is composed of sixty-three graduated natural pearls, varying in diameter from 5.30 to 15.10 mm, the larger pearls placed in front of the necklace and gradually decreasing in size towards the rear. The central/median large pearl and five matching pearls on either side of it are separated by faceted oval-shaped colorless diamond beads. The next five matching pearls on either side are separated by rondelles. The remaining pearls in the rear of the necklace are not spaced by separators.