A 10.09-carat cushion-cut purple-pink diamond ring is hitting the auction block at Christie’s in New York Tuesday, expected to bring $12 million to $15 million as part of the auction house's Magnificent Jewel Sale.
“Collector demand for large colored diamonds has never been stronger, especially where pink diamonds of this size and quality are concerned” says Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry at Christie’s New York.
Only a few mines in the world produce pink diamonds, which come from a distortion of the crystal lattice in the stone while it is forming within the earth’s crust.
If the past is any sign of what’s to come Tuesday, pink diamonds over the last two years have sold at record prices. In November, Christie’s Hong Kong set the world record price for any jewel sold at auction in Asia, selling a 14.23-carat Perfect Pink rectangular cut stone for more than $23 million, or $1.6 million per carat.
The Vivid Pink also sold in Hong Kong, in December 2009, for $2.1 million per carat and setting the world auction record for price per carat.
Size matters for pink diamonds. Fewer than 10% of all pink diamonds mined weigh more than 0.20 carats. Kadakia says the large size and strong saturation set the vivid pink apart, which is why it will go on to sell at a record price and position it to become one of this season’s top-selling diamonds.
“Getting a big, pink diamond is a rarity and they will definitely get a premium for it,” says David Christie, Director of Gold and Precious Metals at Scotia Capital.
For diamond aficionados who don’t like pink or just want a bigger diamond, Christie’s jewel sale also features a 50-carat fancy vivid yellow diamond by Carvin French.
This unique sparkler is expected to sell for $2 million to $3 million.
The stone is flanked on both sides by smaller 2- and 1.93-carat rectangular cut diamonds, which are mounted on a platinum band.
Only about one in ten million diamonds will possess the color that has been classified as “fancy vivid.”
Five other colored stones are being sold including a fancy vivid blue diamond set with a square emerald-cut weighing 3.25 carats, a 6.61-carat intense pink rectangular diamond and an internally flawless clear baguette cut diamond, each in the $2 million to $5 million range.
More people are investing in diamonds right now and buying bigger diamonds than ever before, according to David Christie, who covers Harry Winston.
“Diamond prices are going up and they are going to continue to go up,” he says. “Supply is going to dwindle" as new diamond deposits become harder to find.
He says diamonds are a way of storing wealth and moving money around easily. “The best part of diamonds as an investment is enjoying it while you wait for it to appreciate” says Kadakia.
Update: Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale totaled $31,792,875 but the purple-pink diamond ring was not bought.