The 15.81-carat vivid purple-pink, internally flawless Sakura Diamond, which sold for a record $29.3 million. (Photo courtesy of Christie’s)
According to Christie’s, which conducted the sale, the Sakura is also the largest diamond of its kind ever to be offered at public sale. In a press statement, the chair of Christie’s jewelry department, Vickie Sek, described the sale as an “important chapter in jewelry auction history.”
The Sakura, which was set on a simple platinum ring, was graded as internally flawless. It was also described as “fancy vivid,” which is a measure of intense color that is only achieved by about 4 percent of pink diamonds, Sek said. Fewer than 10 percent of pink diamonds weigh more than 0.2 carats, she added.
Speaking to the media before the sale, Sek said that the Sakura is “exactly” the shade of cherry blossom, which unsurprisingly is the name used locally in Japan to describe the spectacular trees in full bloom that characterize each spring.
HIGHEST PRICE PER CARAT
Despite it achieving a record prince, the $29.29 million paid for the stone was still short of the auction house’s high estimate of $38 million. Nonetheless, it easily passed the auction record for a purple-pink diamond, which was established in 2020 in Geneva for a 14.8-carat stone, named “The Spirit of the Rose. It was sold for almost $27 million at Sotheby’s in Geneva, more than $2 million less than Sakura.
Pink diamonds without purple undertones generally sell for more, Sek said.
In 2017, a 59.6-carat pink diamond sold $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. Purchased by Chow Tai Fook, the Hong Kong-based jewelry retail chain, and renamed “CTF Pink Star,” it remains the most expensive polished diamond of any color to sell at auction.
Per carat, though, at $1.85 million, the Sakura substantially outpaced the CTF Pink Star, which brought in a considerably more modest $1.19 million per carat.
“The Sweet Heart,” a 4.19-carat heart-shaped pink diamond ring that was sold for $6.55 million at the auction in Hong Kong. (Photo courtesy of Christie’s)
Photo courtesy of Christie’s
TWICE A WORLD RECORD HOLDER
When the Pink Star sold for $71.2 million in Hong Kong it was actually is the second time that the same stone had smashed the world record.
The first time was in November 2003, which it it sold for an even higher $83 million to New York diamond cutter by the name of Isaac Wolf. But after he failed to come up with the cash, Sotheby’s was forced to buy the diamond itself, because it earlier had guaranteed a $60 million sale price. It then sold an unspecified stake in the Pink Star to two New York companies, Diacore and Mellen Inc., both of which shared with Sotheby’s the proceeds from the second sale.
The oval mixed-cut gemstone, which is the largest flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America, had a pre-sale estimate of $60 million. The winning bid was actually for $63 million, with the additional $8.2 million being the buyer’s premium.