An exceptionally large pink diamond - almost 19 carats - has set a price-per-carat record after being sold for $50 million to USA luxury jewelry brand Harry Winston at the Christie's auction in Geneva.
"Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" is set to be sold at the Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale at New York's Rockefeller Center on November 15 for an estimated price of $80 million.
There were at least five people bidding by phone for the pink stone, but the winning bidder was a Harry Winston representative sitting in the front row, Curiel said.
Graded "vivid", the highest rating for a pink diamond's color, the gem is internally pure with a rectangular cut, and mounted on a platinum ring.
The company promptly renamed it "The Winston Pink Legacy" and added it to its collection of rare jewels, the auction house said.
The Pink Legacy, which once belonged to the Oppenheimer family which for decades ran the De Beers diamond mining company, was snapped up by American luxury brand Harry Wilson, part of the Swiss Swatch group.
Bright pink diamonds are rare.
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The 18.96-carat diamond was discovered in a South African mine around a century ago, Christie's said.
The previous record was reportedly established by a stone of more than 50 carats, which was sold at $2.1 million per carat.
"Imagine a domino that you have cut the corners off of", Jean-Marc Lunel, an global jewellery specialist at Christie's, recently told AFP, pointing out that the cut is a "classical so-called emerald cut", which stands out from the typical, more rounded, multi-facetted cuts used today.
In the Fancy Vivid Pink range, fewer than 10% of pink diamonds weigh more than one-fifth of a carat.
The price of around $2.6m per carat marked a world record for a pink diamond, according to the Europe head of auction house Christie's.
"It is probably the most attractive (specimen) ever presented at public auction", Mr Lunel said.