Said to be the largest of its kind and shape to go up for auction, the “Fortune Pink” vivid pink stone headlined Christie’s latest Geneva sale of jewellery. It had been expected to fetch between $25m and $35m.
An unidentified buyer in Asia snapped up the diamond, said the auction house.
Max Fawcett, head of Christie’s jewellery department in Geneva, said the stone with a strong, saturated pink colour was mined in Brazil more than 15 years ago.
He declined to identify its owner, but described the diamond as “a true miracle of nature”.
Christie’s says the first pink diamonds ever recorded were found in India’s Golconda mines in the 16th century, before others turned up over the centuries in places such as Africa, Australia, Brazil and Russia.
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Managing director Tobias Kormind of 77 Diamonds, an online jeweller, called the sale price disappointing.
“The extraordinary Fortune Pink diamond sold in Geneva, with its auspicious 18.18 carat weight, which signifies prosperity in Asia, sadly didn’t bring the luck or uplift in fortunes many had hoped for,” he said.
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He suggested the result could be a reflection of a “shaky global economy” and other financial factors, which have been “giving rise to worries creeping in, even among the top echelon of wealthy buyers”.
The auction comes six months after Christie’s sold “The Rock” — a 228-carat, egg-sized white diamond billed as the largest of its kind to go up for auction — for more than $21.75m, including fees. That was also at the low end of the expected range.