Wealth

Christie's to auction a pink diamond that could fetch $50 million  

A Christie's staff holds a 18.96 carat Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond during a preview in Geneva, November 8, 2018. 
Denis Balibouse | Reuters

Christie's puts under the hammer next week the largest fancy vivid pink diamond that the famed auction house has ever sold, expecting to fetch $30 million to $50 million for the nearly 19-carat, rectangular-cut gemstone.

The "Pink Legacy" will be the standout offering at Christie's fall jewelry auction in Geneva on Tuesday.

The stone once belonged to the Oppenheimer diamond family, and Christie's says it qualifies as a Type IIa diamond — the most chemically pure stones with little if any nitrogen. It says fancy vivid pink diamonds over 10 carats are "virtually unheard of" in salesrooms.

Christie's sale kicks off two days of jewelry auctions in Geneva. On Wednesday, Sotheby's will auction jewelry once owned by French Queen Marie Antoinette that hasn't been seen in public for 200 years.

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Key Points
  • The motorized chair, used by Hawking after he was paralyzed with motor neuron disease, raised 296,750 pounds in a Christie's online auction. It had been expected to fetch up to 15,000 pounds.
  • Proceeds from the chair's sale will go to two charities, the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
  • Hawking's 1965 Cambridge University thesis, "Properties of Expanding Universes," sold for 584,750 pounds, more than three times its pre-sale estimate, in the online auction.