It’s time for another peek into the catalogues of one of the world’s most renowned auction houses, everyone! Christie’s will be offering a magnificent pink diamond in Geneva in just a few weeks, and we’ve got all the details on the remarkable stone.
This is one of those diamonds big enough that it’s being marketed with its own name: the Fortune Pink. The gem is described by Christie’s as an “18.18 carat pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond.” It’s the marquee moment of the auction house’s upcoming Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva.
“This exceptionally rare gemstone is the largest pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond ever to be offered for sale at auction,” Christie’s shares in a press release about the stone. Press photographs of the jewel, taken in Geneva on September 23, show the diamond set in a ring, flanked by two large white diamonds on the ring’s shoulders.
The weight of the gemstone is being particularly highlighted, because the numbers associated with the stone will be considered lucky by some customers, especially those coming from certain countries in Asia. “Weighing an auspicious 18.18 carats, the diamond’s weight literally translates to definite prosperity in Asia and is sure to garner interest from collectors across the globe,” Christie’s trumpets.
The Fortune Pink is due to hit the road this week for a tour, showcasing the jewel to prospective buyers all over the world. This week, it’s being displayed at Christie’s in New York. It will be in Shanghai from October 10-13, in Taiwan from October 21-23, and in Singapore from October 28-30.
On November 2, the diamond returns to Geneva, where it will be displayed until the auction on November 8. The current auction expectations are very high: it’s thought that the stone could sell for something in the neighborhood of $35 million (!). So, you know, get your pocketbooks and paddles ready!
For a little comparison fun, let’s look back at some of the other major pink diamonds that have been offered by Christie’s and Sotheby’s in the recent past, shall we? We’ll start off with the Sakura, a 15.81 carat diamond sold at Christie’s in Hong Kong in May 2021. The stone, described as a “fancy vivid purple-pink cushion mixed-cut diamond” was set in a platinum and gold ring that also featured two half-moon shaped diamonds. When the hammer fell, this one fetched 223,412,500 HKD ($28,460,719 USD today).
In November 2020, Sotheby’s sold the Spirit of the Rose, an “oval modified brilliant-cut fancy vivid purple-pink diamond” weighing 14.83 carats. The unmounted diamond, mined in Russia, was named for a famous ballet performed by the Ballets Russes. When bidding had ended in Geneva, the diamond sold for 24,393,000 Swiss francs ($24,713,792 USD today).
In their Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva in November 2018, Christie’s offered the Pink Legacy, an 18.96 carat pink diamond set in a platinum ring with additional white diamonds on the shoulder. The house described the diamond as a “fancy vivid pink cut-cornered rectangular-cut” stone. It was noted to be the “property of a lady,” but the lot notes also clarified that it had once been owned by the Oppenheimer Family, who famously ran De Beers. Mined in South Africa in 1918, the stone was snapped up at the Christie’s auction by Harry Winston. The firm paid 50,375,000 Swiss francs ($51,037,481 USD today) and promptly renamed the stone the “Winston Pink Legacy.”
Christie’s had recently offered another spectacular pink diamond for sale in Hong Kong: the Pink Promise. Auction house advisor Lisa Hubbard noted, “A pink diamond is rare to start with. But an oval pink diamond of this weight is very rare, very hard to find. It is a singular diamond in many ways, and just beautiful.” The lot notes from the sale described the gemstone as “an oval-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond.” In November 2017, the 14.93 carat diamond (set in a ring with a slim double diamond halo and diamonds set on the band) sold for 249,850,000 HKD ($31,828,416 USD today).
This is Le Grand Mazarin, an immensely important diamond with royal provenance that sold at Christie’s in Geneva in November 2017. Originally mined in India, the diamond was part of a cache of gemstones assembled by Cardinal Mazarin in France in the seventeenth century. It was purchased by King Louis XIV in 1661, and it remained with the French crown jewel collection until 1887, when it was bought by Frederic Boucheron at the famous auction of the jewels in Paris. The stone later passed into a private collection in Europe. Christie’s described the stone as a “light pink old mine brilliant-cut diamond” weighing about 19.07 carats. It sold for 14,375,000 Swiss francs ($14,575,818 USD today).
Another major pink diamond was also part of a major auction in November 2017. Sotheby’s in Geneva offered the Raj Pink, a whopping 37.30 carat diamond described as having “a very bright and ravishing fancy intense pink color.” The stone was cut from a rough diamond mined in South Africa in 2015. The diamond was estimated to bring between $20-30 million USD, but because the secret reserve price set by its anonymous owner was not met, the gem did not sell.
An even bigger diamond, the Pink Star, had dazzled buyers a few months earlier. In April 2017, Sotheby’s in Hong Kong sold the diamond (previously called the Steinmetz Star), which was mined in South Africa in 1999. Sotheby’s described the stone as an “oval mixed-cut fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 59.60 carats.” The diamond, in a platinum ring setting, sold to the Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook group for an astonishing 553,037,500 HKD ($70,452,221 USD today).
But, of course, one of the most famous pink diamonds in the world is probably still the Williamson Pink Diamond, which was presented to the late Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding gift in November 1947. She received the uncut 54.5 carat diamond from John Thoburn Williamson, the Canadian geologist who owned the Williamson diamond mine in present-day Tanzania. The stone was cut in London by Briefel & Lemer, who produced a round brilliant weighing 23.6 carats. It was later set in a jonquil-shaped brooch by Cartier, and it was one of the Queen’s favorite jewels to wear throughout her life.
Interestingly, Sotheby’s is offering a pink diamond for sale this week in Hong Kong: an 11.15 carat diamond called the “Williamson Pink Star,” sourced from the same mine as the Williamson Pink Diamond. As you can imagine, they’re leaning heavily on the connection to the late Queen’s diamonds in their promotional materials ahead of the sale on October 7.