‘The Spirit of the Rose’ purple-pink diamond could fetch $38M at Sotheby’s auction

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

An “ultra-rare” purple-pink diamond is set to go under the hammer, with auction house Sotheby’s estimating that it could fetch up to $38 million.

The 14.83-carat stone, dubbed “The Spirit of the Rose,” will go on sale in Switzerland next month, more than three years after it was uncovered from a mine in northeast Russia.

Taking its name from the 1911 Russian ballet “Le Spectre de la rose,” the jewel was cut from an even larger rough diamond unearthed by the mining company Alrosa in 2017. Then weighing 27.85 carats, the initial find was believed to be the largest pink crystal ever unearthed in the country.

The jewel was cut from a 27.85-carat rough diamond discovered in a mine in Sakha, northeast Russia.

The jewel was cut from a 27.85-carat rough diamond discovered in a mine in Sakha, northeast Russia. Credit: Sotheby’s

It took a year to cut and polish the oval-shaped stone, which will go on display in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei before arriving in Geneva for the November 12 sale.

According to the chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division, Gary Schuler, the diamond’s rarity is a result of its size and color, which has been graded as “Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink.” The jewel has also been classified as “internally flawless,” a measure of its clarity, while the stone belongs to a rare subgroup of diamonds that contain little to no nitrogen.

“Only 1% of all pink diamonds are larger than 10 carats and only 4% of all pink diamonds are graded ‘Fancy Vivid’ and display a rich, vivid color,” Schuler said in a press statement. “Having the opportunity to offer a large polished pink diamond … with the richness of color and purity of The Spirit of the Rose is therefore truly exceptional.”

Auction house Sotheby's estimates that the diamond will sell for between $23 million and $38 million.

Auction house Sotheby’s estimates that the diamond will sell for between $23 million and $38 million. Credit: Sotheby’s

Soaring prices

Pink diamonds are increasing in value faster than those of any other color, according to the non-profit organization Fancy Color Research Foundation, which found that prices grew by 116% between 2010 and 2019.
In 2017, a 59.60-carat pink diamond known as the Pink Star became the most expensive jewel ever to sell at auction when it went for $71.2 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. Prior to that, the previous world auction record for a pink diamond was $46.16 million, the amount paid for the 24.78-carat Graff Pink in Geneva in 2010.

Related video: The 18.96-carat Pink Legacy sets a world record for the highest price paid per carat for a pink diamond in 2018.

Pink stones now account for five of the 10 most valuable diamonds ever to sell at auction, said the head of next month’s auction, Benoit Repellin.

“These exceptional sales, all realized in the last decade are a testament to the growing appreciation, and awareness of the great scarcity of these natural treasures around the world,” he said in a press statement, “and with the supply of these beautiful stones becoming ever more limited, they are likely to continue to become even more prized.”

The Spirit of the Rose will be joined by 25 other valuable lots at Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels” sale. Monday’s announcement comes just a week after the auction house’s Hong Kong outpost sold an exceptionally rare 102.39-carat white diamond for $15.7 million.

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