On May 23, the 15.81 ct. Sakura diamond fetched $29.3 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Hong Kong, setting a world-record auction price for a purple-pink diamond.
That makes it the most valuable diamond sold at auction so far this year. The final price works out to $1.9 million a carat.
The diamond was named Sakura because its color resembles the cherry blossoms that signal the beginning of spring in Asia, says François Curiel, Sotheby’s chairman for Europe and Asia. Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossom.
The buyer was an Asian private. The final price for the internally flawless fancy vivid purplish-pink cushion-cut fell within its pre-sale estimate of $25 million to $39 million.
Another notable pink stone—the Sweet Heart, a 4.19 ct. heart-shape fancy vivid pink with VVS1 clarity—also fetched a sweet price. It sold to an Asian private as well, for $6.6 million, or $1.6 million a carat. That price also fell within its pre-sale estimate.
The final total for the Hong Kong auction was $76.8 million, which makes it the biggest-earning Christie’s jewelry sale in the last four years. The sale sold 87% by value, and 82% by lot.
Vickie Sek, chairman of Christie’s jewelry department for Asia Pacific, said in a statement that the sale demonstrated “robust market demand” for top-quality gems.
The Sakura is not the only notable diamond Christie’s sold this year. Earlier this month, at a Christie’s jewelry auction in Geneva, the 100.94 ct. D internally flawless Spectacle diamond sold for $14.2 million (or $141,000 a carat), at the low end of its $13 million–$19 million estimate.
The emerald-cut Spectacle was cut from a 207.29 ct. rough diamond unearthed by Russian diamond miner Alrosa. The cutting process took 20 months.
Top: The Sakura diamond, which set a world-record auction price for a purple-pink diamond (all photos courtesy of Christie’s)