Pink diamond sells for record $46m at auction
A rare pink diamond smashed the world record for a jewel at auction Tuesday, selling for more than $46 million to a well-known gem dealer.
The 24.78-carat "fcy intense pink" diamond sold in Geneva for $46,158,674, easily topping the $24.3 million reached by the blue 35.56-carat Wittelsbach-Graff diamond in 2008, said auction house Sotheby's Both jewels were purchased by London-based jeweler Laurence Graff.
"This is the highest price ever bid for a jewel at auction," said David Bennett, the head of Sotheby's jewelry division, as the auction room in Geneva's luxury Beau Rivage hotel erupted into applause.
Graff raised eyebrows when he had the blue diamond recut after purchase, to the displeasure of purists who considered it an act of vandalism against a unique object. It wasn't immediately known whether he planned to alter the pink diamond, which Sotheby's says has a flaw unnoticeable to the naked eye but may be graded as internally flawless after re-polishing.
Sotheby's said it sold jewels worth $105.1 million Tuesday, also a world record for a single sale. The auction included items once belonging to Christina Onassis, the daughter of the Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, and Cristina Ford, the second wife of Henry Ford's grandson Henry Ford II.
"I think this tells you a bit about the health of the market," Bennett told reporters after the sale.