Rare pink diamond sells for world record 46 million dollars

GENEVA, Nov 16, 2010 (AFP) -A rare pink diamond that is regarded as one of the most desirable and beautiful in the world was sold for a record 46.16 million dollars on Tuesday, smashing previous auction records for the sale of any single diamond or jewel, Sotheby's said.


Sothebys.com

Sotheby's had valued the 24.78 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond mounted on a ring at 27 million to 38 million dollars (20 million to 28 million euros) ahead of the sale in a luxury lakeside hotel.

But intense bidding wiped out the record of over 24 million dollars set during an auction in December 2008 in the sale of a grey-blue diamond Wittelsbach.

"At 40.50 million francs, the world record price. Selling it. Sold," said the auctioner, to applause as he brought down the hammer.

The final price of over 46 million dollars includes the hammer price and the commission.

Sotheby's said the buyer is Laurence Graff, a London-based diamond dealer.

David Bennett, chairman for Europe and the Middle East at Sotheby's international jewellery department, had called the pink jewellery "one of the purest diamonds".

The "flawless" emerald-cut gemstone, which forms the centrepiece of the 500 lots in Sotheby's auctions of rare and precious jewellery, is rated among a type that accounts for just two percent of diamonds.

It was last seen on the market about 60 years ago when it was sold by legendary US jeweller Harry Winston and kept in a private collection since then, a feature that is adding to its value.

"It's very wearable and the perfect size," said Bennett.

"It's a stone that has huge character and appeal."

Bennett told journalists that pink diamonds are prized by collectors and the trade since they were discovered in India.

Other lots sold Tuesday have historic celebrity value, including jewellery that belonged to Cristina Onassis, Cristina Ford, wife of Henry Ford II, grandson of the founder of the Ford Motor Company, as well as items that belonged to Abbas Hilmi II (1874-1944), the last Khedive or viceroy of Egypt and Sudan.

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