Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pink Diamond Fetches $10.9 Million at Sotheby’s as Gem Collectors Battle

A pink diamond the size of a SIM card sold tonight in Switzerland for 9.6 million francs ($10.9 million) as collectors continue to battle for rare gems.

The price paid by a telephone bidder was the third highest for a pink diamond at auction, said Sotheby’s. (BID) The privately owned diamond, not seen on the market for more than 30 years, was estimated at as much as 14.8 million francs at hammer prices, the most highly valued of 491 items being offered by Sotheby’s in its biannual jewels auction in Geneva.

Rare colored diamonds continue to command one-off prices. London dealer Laurence Graff paid 45.4 million francs, a record for any gem at auction, for a 24.78-carat “fancy intense pink” at Sotheby’s equivalent sale in Geneva in November.

The emerald-cut “fancy intense pink” stone sold tonight weighed 10.99 carats and was mounted on a platinum ring.
Earlier in the evening, an emerald and diamond tiara sold for 11.3 million francs, an auction record for this particular type of jewelry. The winning bid was taken on the telephone by Lisa Hubbard, Sotheby’s New York-based chairman of jewelry, against competition from five other bidders, said Sotheby’s.

The sale totaled 78.9 million francs including fees, beating an estimate of 42 million francs. Sotheby’s sold 90 percent of the lots.


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