The Rosenberg Williamson Pink Star (Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)
Auction house Sotheby’s recording a stunning result at its stand-alone single lot sale in Hong Kong on October 5, 2022, when the 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star sold for $57.7 million, more than twice as much as its pre-sale estimate.
The sale set a new world record for price per carat paid at auction for any diamond or gemstone, and it was the second highest amount ever paid as well.
The name of the winning bidder was not revealed. He or she was identified as an undisclosed buyer from Boca Raton, Florida, in the United States. However, the new owner immediately renamed the stone the Rosenberg Williamson Pink Star.
The auction “not only attests to the resilient demand for top quality diamonds in Asia, but a heightened awareness of the great scarcity of pink diamonds”, said Wenhao Yu, chairman of jewellery and watches at Sotheby’s Asia.
The Williamson Pink Star is one of only two internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamonds of more 10 carats ever to come to auction. It was sourced at the Williamson Mine in Tanzania, after which it was named.
Eyes now turn to Geneva Switzerland, where at on November 8 at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues the 18.18 carat pear-shaped Fortune Pink will go on the block. It is a fancy-colored diamond graded fancy vivid pink. Its pre-sale estimate has ranged between $25 million and $35 million, but if the Hong Kong sale is anything to judge by, it could go for much higher than that.
PINK STAR STILL LEADS THE PACK
Breaking record at Christie’s or Sotheby’s auction has been pretty run of mill in recent years, but it would still be worth taking to time to consider some of the stones that have made headlines.
Leading the pack is the Pink Star, which sold for an astounding $71.2 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in April 2017. It actually had done better in November 2013, which it was apparently bought for $83 million, but then the buyer failed to come up with the cash. Before the second sale of the stone, a now more cautious Sotheby’s pre-vetted the three individuals who were permitted to bid during the auction.
The oval-shaped diamond was purchased at Sotheby’s by the Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook jewelry company, whose final bid was called in by phone by the chairman. Once hearing that it was successful ,he immediately renamed the jewel the “CTF Pink Star” for his late father.
Next up, and the previous record holder, is the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue. It was named for Sir Philip Oppenheimer, the former chairman of De Beers Diamond Trading Company, which had owned the stone.
The CTF Pink Star. (Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)
The Oppenheimer Blue. (Photo courtesy of Christie’s)
When it was sold at Christie’s in Geneva, the rectangular-shaped Oppenheimer Blue was the largest fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction, and the price paid beat the previous record held by the 12.03-carat “Blue Moon of Josephine,” which sold for $48.4 million in November 2015.
TWO DIAMONDS, NOT ONE
The next ranked sale of fancy-colored diamonds at auction was actually not for a single stone, but rather two. A pair of diamond earrings, one fancy pink and the other fancy blue, were sold at Sotheby’s in Geneva for $57.4 million in May 2017. The anonymous buyer renamed them “The Memory of Autumn Leaves” and “The Dream of Autumn Leaves.”
The one earing was 14.54-carat fancy vivid blue diamond and other a 16-carat fancy intense pink
In November 2018, the Harry Winston jewelry house bought the 18.96-carat rectangular-cut Pink Legacy for $50.4 million carats at a Christie’s auction in Geneva. At the time, the sale broke the record for the most expensive pink diamond ever sold at Christie’s, as well as the world auction record for highest price per carat for a pink diamond.
The diamond was renamed the Winston Pink Legacy, after the founder of the jewelry house. Fittingly, the carat size of stone matched the year of Harry Winston’s birth, which was 1896. The stone previously had been owned by the Swatch Group.
“The Memory of Autumn Leaves” and “The Dream of Autumn Leaves.” (Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)
The Winston Pink Legacy. (Photo courtesy of Christie’s)
The team at Harry Winston set the 18.96-carat diamond in an 18-karat rose gold and platinum ring, flanked by two shield-cut diamonds weighing 3.55 carats.