It's the size of a postage stamp, the color of bubble gum and the weight of about two pennies.
But the 16.08-carat pink diamond to be auctioned off by Christie's could fetch a whopping $28 million when it goes under the hammer next week. That would make it one of the 10 most expensive diamonds ever sold at auction.
The stone is a fancy vivid pink — meaning it's the purest form of pink diamond — with no trace of secondary colors such as purple, orange, brown or gray. And it's a cushion cut, which enhances the color.
Only three pure vivid pink diamonds larger than 10 carats have ever been put up for sale. Rahul Kadakia, Christie's international head of jewelery, said that with an estimate of between $1.4 million and $1.7 million per carat, the pink stone is a relative bargain.
It is estimated to sell for between $23 million and $28 million. While pricey, that's well below the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction. The 59.6-carat "Pink Star" diamond that Sotheby's sold in 2013 went for $83 million, but was bought back by the auction house after the buyer failed to pay.
"It adds up to a lot of money," Kadakia said about the 16.08-carat diamond. "But it's inexpensive for what it is. If you're looking to make a sizable investment on a color diamond, this is your stone."
Colored diamonds have become increasingly attractive investments as the global rich look for safer places to store their wealth. Colored diamond prices are up 48 percent over the past five years and 149 percent over the past decade, according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index.
Diamonds are especially valuable for their portability, as an owner can easily put a $10 million stone in his or her pocket and quickly fly to another country.
"Look at what's going on in the world," Kadakia said. "There's the stock market in Asia. You have the currencies going up and down. There's the Middle East situation going on."
"So on the one side, we hope that everything will settle down, and the world will be a great place all the time. But you do want to have yourself a little bit of safety."
The auction will be held Nov. 10.
The pink diamond being sold is set in a ring, but Kadakia said it could easily be set in a necklace, bracelet or other piece. When it was purchased around 15 or 20 years ago, Kadakia said it was worth between $5 million and $8 million.
The owner will also get to name the stone. Asked what he would name it, Kadakia said, "The Perfect Pink."