10: The Winston Pink Legacy: An extraordinary 18.96-carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond
‘To find a diamond of this size with this colour is pretty much unreal,’ said Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewellery at Christie’s, before the sale of the Pink Legacy in Geneva in November 2018. ‘You may see this colour in a pink diamond of less than one carat. But this is almost 19 carats and it’s as pink as can be. It’s unbelievable.’
Scientists classify diamonds into two main ‘types’ — Type I and Type II. In the latter, the diamond has a particularly rare, almost homogenous colour. ‘Pink diamonds fall under the rare Type IIa category,’ explains the specialist. ‘These are stones that have little if any trace of nitrogen, and make up less than two per cent of all gem diamonds. Type IIa stones are some of the most chemically pure diamonds, often with exceptional transparency and brilliance.’
Its even colour distribution, combined with a balanced saturation, tone and straight pink hue, qualify the 18.96 carat diamond for the coveted ‘Fancy Vivid’ colour grading from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Only one in 100,000 diamonds possesses a colour deep enough to qualify as ‘Fancy Vivid’.
Bidding for The Pink Legacy, which had descended from the Oppenheimer family, was fierce. Fancy Vivid Pink diamonds over 10 carats are virtually unheard of in the saleroom — in more than 250 years of auction history at Christie’s, only four such stones have ever appeared for sale. Such scarcity was reflected in the final price, CHF 50,375,000 — a new world auction record per carat for a pink diamond. After the sale the diamond’s new owners, Harry Winston, promptly renamed the stone The Winston Pink Legacy.
Content courtesy: Christie’s