A new world record for any jewelry auction was set on Tuesday when Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva generated sales of $175.1 million, led by the 'Unique Pink', a fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 15.38 carats that sold for $31,561,200, or $2,052,094 per carat, the auction house reported. Sotheby’s said it was the largest such diamond ever to come to auction and set a record for its type. Meanwhile, the overall sum realized comfortably beat the previous record of $160.9 million set by Sotheby’s in the equivalent sale last year in May 2015.
The sale saw one of the highest levels of participation for any jewelry sale at Sotheby’s, with three lots sold for over $10 million, and six lots bought for more than $5 million. And in online buying, there was a new record for an online purchase in a live auction at Sotheby’s with the purchase of a pair of pear-shaped fancy blue and fancy orangy pink diamond earrings for $6 million. The auctioneer said that 25% of the total number of participants came from Asia, and 70% of lots were sold above their high pre-sale estimate.
Speaking after the sale, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, commented: “Exactly one year after having set the world record for a jewelry sale, Sotheby’s Geneva has raised the bar once again with a great sale and result for the Unique Pink. It is difficult to imagine a diamond that better illustrates the term Vivid Pink than this outstanding stone. The color is simply astonishing and, for its size, it is in my experience truly unique. We set out to curate a sale that would speak to today's collectors and the response has been overwhelming - confirmation, if ever it were needed, that when you have the right material, demand is as deep as it's ever been.”