An extremely rare, purple-pink diamond mined and polished by Russia’s Alrosa (MCX: ALRS) has set a record price for a gem of that colour sold at an auction after fetching 24.4 million Swiss francs (US$26.6 million) at Sotheby’s in Geneva.
The flawless 14.83-carat diamond, named “The Spirit of the Rose” after a ballet of the same name from 1911, already had another record under its belt — it’s the largest of its kind ever found in Russia.
The oval gem was bought by a telephone bidder who chose to remain anonymous, Sotheby’s said.
While the selling price is a fresh world record in the pink-purple category, both Alrosa and coloured diamond specialists had estimated the stone would raise between US$60 million and US$65 million.
Recently, coloured diamonds, especially pink ones, have been achieving top prices. They are expected to soar to new highs in the coming years, as Rio Tinto closed its iconic Argyle mine this month. The operation was the world’s biggest diamond mine and the main global source of high-quality pink gems.
Sotheby’s set the record for any gem ever sold at an auction in 2017, with its US$71.2 million sale of the 59.6-carat Pink Star to Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group.
Until then, the most expensive coloured diamond ever sold at auction was the “Oppenheimer Blue,” which fetched 56.8 million Swiss francs (US$58 million) in May 2016.