By: Sheila Gibson Stoodley
It’s known as The Vivid Pink, but this five-carat pink diamond, which was unearthed as a 10-carat rough stone in a South African mine in 2006 and was cut by the London jewelry firm Graff, is formally known as a Fancy Vivid Pink potentially flawless diamond. That’s jeweler-speak for “My, oh my, is that shiny rose-colored rock beautiful and scarce.” It set a record for a pink diamond at auction, as well as a price-per-carat auction record for any gemstone: $2.1 million. Sotheby’s sold the previous champion, a seven-carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond that fetched $1.3 million per carat in Geneva in May 2009, for a total of 10.4 million Swiss francs ($9.4 million).
“There’s high demand for such rare stones,” says Mei Giam, an associate specialist from Christie’s Hong Kong jewelry team who witnessed the sale. “For colored diamonds, we’re used to seeing one million per carat. Two million is unbelievable, but it reflects how rare the stone is.” An unnamed mainland Chinese collector of fine art bested five other bidders for the honor of claiming the gem. “I don’t know what he intends to do with it,” says Giam. “I think he will just keep it for his private appreciation.”