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Pink Diamond’s $45.6 Million Tops Prices Before HK Sale

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"Graff Pink" Diamond
A 24.78-carat pink diamond sold at Sotheby's Nov. 16 auction of jewels in Geneva. Not seen on the open market for 60 years, it was estimated to sell for between 27 million Swiss francs and 38 million francs. It fetched 45.4 million francs. Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- A 118.28-carat white diamond is estimated to sell for more than $28 million at auction in Hong Kong next month. The price, if achieved, would be a record for any colorless gem at a public sale.

The oval D-color Flawless Type IIa stone, the largest of its type to appear at auction, will be sold by Sotheby’s on Oct. 7 as part of its 40th-anniversary events in Asia. Only four other white diamonds of this quality weighing more than 100 carats have appeared at public sales, the New York-based company said.

The world’s biggest round “fancy vivid” blue diamond, called “The Premier Blue” and weighing 7.59 carats, carries a minimum valuation of $19 million at the same Hong Kong auction.

Rare gemstones are both status symbols and hedges against volatility in the financial markets, and their prices are rising. Colored stones, which account for about 0.01 percent of mined diamonds, command the highest price per carat.

Here is a list of the world’s five most expensive diamonds sold at auction. All prices include auction house fees.

1. The “Graff Pink”

Sale price: $45.6 million, 45.4 million Swiss francs.

Description: A 24.78-carat round-cornered rectangular step-cut Fancy Intense pink diamond.

Auction house: Sotheby’s, Geneva, Nov. 15, 2010.

Notes: Bought and named by the London-based jeweler Laurence Graff.

“It is the most fabulous diamond I’ve seen in my career,” Graff said after the sale.

2. The “Princie” Diamond

Sale price: $39.3 million.

Description: A 34.65-carat Fancy Intense pink cushion-shaped diamond.

Auction house: Christie’s International, New York, April 16, 2013.

Notes: The gem was first recorded in the holdings of the Nizam, or monarch, of Hyderabad, India, according to Christie’s.

3. The “Winston Legacy”

Sale price: $26.7 million, 25.9 million Swiss francs.

Description: An unmounted 101.73-carat pear-shaped D-color Flawless Type IIA white diamond.

Auction house: Christie’s Geneva, May 15, 2013.

Notes: Record auction price for a single colorless diamond, bought by Harry Winston, the watch and jewelry brand.

4. The “Wittelsbach” Diamond

Sale price: $24.3 million, 16.4 million pounds.

Description: Historic 17th-century Fancy Deep grayish-blue cushion-shaped diamond weighing 35.56 carats.

Auction house: Christie’s, London, Dec. 10, 2008.

Notes: Bought by Graff. The stone was recut by Graff in December 2009 and is now 31.06 carats and renamed the Wittelsbach-Graff.

5. The “Perfect Pink”

Sale price: $23.2 million, HK$ 179.9 million.

Description: Fancy Intense pink rectangular-cut diamond ring of 14.23 carats.

Auction house: Christie’s Hong Kong, Nov. 29, 2010.

Notes: In 244 years of auctions, only 18 pink diamonds of more than 10 carats (2 grams) have come up for sale, Christie’s said at the time.

Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on arts, Mark Beech on music and Ryan Sutton on U.S. restaurants.

To contact the writer on the story: Scott Reyburn in London at sreyburn@hotmail.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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