Rare diamond brings eight figures at Christie’s auction

One of the finest Vivid Pink diamonds to ever appear for sale at auction brought in more than twice its low-end pre-sale estimate at Christie’s annual fall jewelry sale Dec. 1, 2009, in Hong Kong.

The 5-carat, cushion-cut diamond, which is set in an 18-karat platinum rose-gold ring by Graff and flanked on each side by a shield-shaped diamond, is the largest fancy vivid pink potentially flawless diamond to ever be offered for sale at auction, according to a news release issued by Christie’s. The pre-auction estimate was $5 million to $7.05 million (U.S. dollars); the price realized was $10,828,889, including the buyer’s premium.

While the majority of natural pink diamonds exhibit a color modifier like purple, orange or gray, “The Vivid Pink” shows no trace of a secondary color, making it exceedingly rare both commercially and naturally, the news release said. The stone has been determined to be a type IIa pink diamond, which is very rare in nature and has few inclusions. The color in pink diamonds can be caused by impurities as well as the diamond’s exposure to heat and pressure, according to the Christie’s Web site.

The pink diamond was one of 255 featured lots valued in excess of $33 million from makers including Bulgari, Cartier, Graff, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany and Harry Winston. Not all 255 lots sold; the sales total was $48,001,800. Click here to check out all of the results.

Results for other featured pieces in this auction include:

An oval-shaped, 9.03 carat fancy vivid yellow diamond set in a ring by Graff sold for $1,537,365, outstripping the pre-auction estimate of $900,000 to $1.2 million.

A 16.65-carat cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire and diamond “Pierres de Caractere” ring by Van Cleef & Arpels sold for $2,408,436; the pre-auction estimate was $725,901 to $1,037,002. The sapphire is the desirable and distinctive “cornflower” blue color. It is mounted in an 18-karat white-gold ring and features brilliant-cut diamond openwork gallery and half-hoop. The gem appears it has not had any thermal enhancement, the catalog said.
An 16.99-carat unmounted diamond brought $2,916,567; the pre-sale estimate was $2,203,628 to $3,240,630. The gem was determined to be a type IIa diamond, which is considered the most chemically-pure type of diamond and which often has exceptional optical transparency. It is D color, flawless clarity and excellent cut, polish and symmetry, according to the online catalog.

A diamond and colored-diamond ring by Tiffany & Co. sold for $1,169,219. The fancy, intense, blue diamond was rated with VS1 clarity and weighed in at 3.02 carats. The pre-auction estimate was $972,189 to $1,296,252.
A pair of 8.52 and 8.39-carat pear-shaped fancy yellow internally flawless diamond ear pendants sold for $562,573. The pre-auction estimate was $400,000 to $600,000.

A pendant necklace featuring a 25.04-carat, pear-shaped Burmese sapphire with a brilliant-cut diamond surround sold for $827,009. The pendant is joined to the neckchain set with brilliant-cut diamonds alternating with circular-cut sapphires and mounted in platinum. The richly colored sapphire has been spared thermal treatment, a key factor for collectors today, according to the Christie’s Web site. Such a combination of characteristics is rare in natural Burmese sapphires of this size, making this stone among the top sale highlights. The pre-auction estimate was $622,201 to $842,564.

An emerald and diamond necklace from Bulgari’s Perentisi collection sold for $282,583. The pre-auction estimate was $80,000 to $120,000. The necklace features circular-cut emeralds set upon a geometric motif, pave-set diamond plaque. The pendant is joined to a similarly set spacer and length-adjustable neckchain mounted in 18-karat white gold. Only two of these necklaces were ever produced by Bulgari, according to the catalog.

An Art Deco ruby and diamond bracelet by Cartier sold for $780,344. The pre-auction estimate was $625,000 to $1 million. The bracelet features a sleek and simple geometric design. It displays 24 untreated Burmese rubies (total carat weight of 38.06 carats), which are favored by collectors for their “pigeon’s blood” red hue, the auction catalog said. The bracelet was created in 1938. The stylized geometric style illustrated in this bracelet was mostly the work of the designer Frederick Pew who collaborated closely with Jacques Cartier.

A pair of diamond and natural pearl ear pendants from Chaumet featuring a natural pear drop joined to a floral motif surmount set with a brilliant-cut diamond pistil within collet-set, pear-shaped diamond petals mounted in platinum sold for $298,138. The pre-auction estimate was $230,000 to $350,000.
A multicoloured graduated natural pearl necklace sold for $173,698. The necklace is composed of 79 multicolored graduated natural pearls measuring from 4.0 to 9.9 mm each. The pearls are joined to the navette-shaped onyx clasp accented by a marquise-cut diamond and mounted in platinum. The pre-auction estimate $150,000 to $230,000.
A pair of natural pearl and diamond ear clips by Cartier sold for $235,918. The pre-auction estimate was $160,000 to $230,000.
A rectangular-shaped, 17.65-carat diamond ring, flanked on either side by a tapered baguette-cut diamond, sold for $967,004. The pre-auction estimate was $810,158 to $1,101,814.

A ring featuring a type IIa, 8.66-carat, square-shaped diamond mounted in platinum sold for $1,091,444. The pre-auction estimate was $862,009 to $1,101,814.

A diamond pendant necklace sold for $1,609,945, more than the pre-sale estimate of $842,564 to $1,101,814. The necklace features an 11-carat pear-shaped diamond joined to a marquise-cut, 1.34-carat diamond spacer and a heart-shaped diamond surmount weighing 3.51 diamonds, alternated by rectangular-shaped fancy intense pink diamonds, each within a brilliant-cut diamond quatrefoil.

Several jadeite forms that were part of the auction did not sell. They included a carved jadeite Guanyin (pre-auction estimate $1 million to $1.5 million.); a jadeite and diamond ring (pre-auction estimate $19,444-$32,406); a carved jadeite milefo (pre-auction estimate $771,751-$1,037,002); a pair of jadeite carvings (pre-auction estimate $15,555 to $23,333); However, items that contain rubies or jadeite originating in Burma may not be imported into the U.S. Pieces that did sell included:
A jadeite bi and diamond pendant necklace sold for $702,569 (pre-auction estimate was $583,313 to $842,564).
A pair of jadeite ear pendants sold for $189,253 (pre-auction estimate was $155,500 to $233,325.)
A pair of three-colored jadeite bangles sold for $282,583 (pre-auction estimate $230,000 to $350,000.)


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