Lot 495
  • 495


26,900,000 - 36,500,000 CHF
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Diamonds, gold
The pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond of outstanding colour weighing 15.38 carats, mounted as a ring, size 51.


Accompanied by GIA report no. 6177101892, stating that the pear-shaped diamond weighing 15.38 carats and measuring 22.77 x 12.62 x 8.18mm, is Fancy Vivid Pink, Natural Colour, VVS2 Clarity; together with a Type IIa classification letter. The GIA report additionally accompanied by a separate monograph expressing the rarity and the characteristics of the stone.Stamped 750 for 18 carat gold, mounted in white gold. For further details on the diamond, please refer to the GIA report and monograph. No evidence of wear to the metal, in like-new condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Please note that colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's. We do not guarantee, and are not responsible for any certificate from a gemological laboratory that may accompany the property. We do not guarantee that watches are in working order. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue, in particular to the Notice regarding the treatment and condition of gemstones and to the Notice regarding import of Burmese jadeite and rubies into the US.

Catalogue Note

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a French merchant and adventurer who was best known for acquiring the 'Tavernier Blue Diamond' that he subsequently sold to Louis XIV, first made a reference to pink diamonds in the early 17th century. Tavernier mentioned a very large pink rough diamond weighing over 200 carats, shown to him by Moghuls in the Kingdom of Golconda in 1642. This diamond, named ‘The Grand Table’ and valued at 600,000 rupees at the time, is still the largest pink diamond recorded to date. The French merchant also purchased two pale pink diamonds around 1668 and drew the pictures of the stones in his travel book.

Since the 17th century, the value of coloured diamonds has considerably increased. Fancy coloured diamonds are rarer than near colourless diamonds as their hues come from a disturbance during the formation process of the stone deep in the earth. For all coloured diamonds except pinks, the colour comes from trace elements that interfere during the formation of the crystal. A diamond is composed of pure carbon; it is the intrusion of another atom that causes the colour: nitrogen for yellows, boron for blues. Concerning pink diamonds, the colour is a consequence of a distortion of the crystal structure of the stone.

Fancy coloured diamonds are rare in nature, but the intensity of the colour is also an important characteristic of the stone. The Gemological Institute of America grades fancy coloured diamonds as: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid. Fancy Vivid colours are the most sought-after. The exceptional stone offered in this auction displays a very bright and deep fancy vivid pink colour. Even in the category “Fancy Vivid”, one can find different levels of intensity; the saturation and hue of this stone are absolutely mesmerising.

The current record price ever paid at auction for a pink diamond is ‘The Graff Pink’, a magnificent 24.76 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond, which sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2010 for $46.16 million.

The current record price per carat for a fancy vivid pink diamond ($2,155,332) was set by a 5.00 carat diamond, sold in Hong Kong in January 2009.

An Exceptional Colour

“Certainly, the occurrence of any gem-quality diamond is rare, but the discovery of a pink diamond is exceedingly unusual. Of all diamonds annually submitted to GIA, no more than 3% are classified as coloured diamonds; less than 5% of those coloured diamonds are predominantly pink. The majority of pink diamonds fall within the tone and saturation ranges of Faint to Fancy – very few contain colour so vibrant as to be Fancy Vivid…

In addition to Fancy Vivid colour and a remarkable weight of 15.38 carats, the Unique Pink was reported to display stunning clarity and exceedingly pure (type IIa) structure. This rare combination of superior qualities allows the Unique Pink to hold the distinction of a truly exceptional gem”.

Excerpt from the GIA monograph


“In one previous GIA study of 1,490 pink diamonds – of which 1,166 were type I and 324 were type II – the diamonds were found to occur in a relatively wide range of colour appearances, from “warmer” orangy pinks to “cooler” purple-pinks… The Fancy Vivid Pink designation is exceptionally rare, but particularly so for a type IIa diamond of such significant size”.

Excerpt from the GIA monograph

“In grading fancy-colour diamonds, the measure of the “C” representing colour far surpasses other “C’s” (clarity, cut and carat weight) in importance”.

Excerpt from the GIA monograph

Manufacturing the Unique Pink Diamond

“Though nature granted the Unique Pink with rare colour and fine purity, it is the responsibility of man to capitalize on these qualities and bring the diamond’s innermost beauty to full display.

The ultimate shape and cutting style of the Unique Pink is described as pear modified brilliant. Examination of the details of the polished form provides some insight into the gem’s growth story and enhances its visual impact. Although the precise appearance of the original rough is unknown, it was likely elongated, as crystals of that form often give way to attractive pear shapes…

The Unique Pink’s pear modified brilliant cut complements its characteristic form and deepens its natural Fancy Vivid tone and saturation”.

Excerpt from the GIA monograph

A Type IIa Diamond

“Type II diamonds are rare… and represent less than 2% of all diamonds mined. Not coincidentally, they also tend to display exceptional transparency. Type II diamonds are subdivided into two groups. Type IIa stones have no nitrogen or boron impurities (and could be considered the “most pure”)… The Unique Pink was identified as type IIa based on analysis of its infrared spectrum. No features were observed in the spectral region from approximately 1400-1000 wavenumbers, where nitrogen-related peaks are expected to occur. This observation indicates that the diamond is exceedingly chemically pure”.

Excerpt from the GIA monograph

“As its name suggests, the Unique Pink is a most distinctive item in the fascinating world of gemstones. It is exceptionally rare for any natural diamond to reveal Fancy Vivid pink colour, but for one of 15.38 carats to exhibit such tone and saturation is astonishing”.

Excerpt from the GIA monograph




"In addition to Fancy Vivid colour and a remarkable weight of 15.38 carats, the Unique Pink was reported to display stunning clarity and exceedingly pure (type IIa) structure. This rare combination of superior qualities allows the Unique Pink to hold the disctinction of a truly exceptional gem”.

Excerpt from the GIA monograph