The Sakura, which is set on a platinum ring, is a couple of millions ahead of Spirit of the Rose, last year’s record holder.
Yesterday, the record for the most expensive purple pink diamond ever to sell at an auction was broken at the Spring sale of Christie’s Hong Kong. The piece of jewelry, a 15.81-carat gem set on a platinum ring called The Sakura, sold for $29.3 million.
While it is well below the maximum valuation of Christie’s—they originally said that it could fetch for up to $38 million—it does surpass the record by another auction house. Last year, Sotheby’s sold Spirit of the Rose, a 14.83-carat from a rough diamond mined by Alrosa, for $26.6 million.
Most naturally-colored diamonds are rare to begin with, but The Sakura is supposedly remarkable because of its size, brilliance, and clarity. Vickie Sek, the chairman of Christie’s Asia-Pacific Department of Jewellery, described the gem as a “unique expression of identity and mesmerizing beauty” days before the auction.
While 90 percent of pink diamonds don’t go beyond one-fifth of a carat, The Sakura is just shy of 16 carats and is probably one of the largest of its kind. It is also graded as both a Fancy Vivid, the deepest and rarest classification for a pink diamond, and internally flawless.
Its name, of course, is inspired by the Japanese Cherry Blossom, whose hue can be seen in the coloration of the gem.
Sunday’s sale isn’t the priciest for a pink diamond in a Christie’s auction. That distinction goes to The Pink Legacy, a 19-karat that Fancy Vivid Pink that sold for a little over $50 million in 2018.
“To find a diamond of this size with this colour is pretty much unreal,” Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery, says of the diamond eventually bought by Harry Winston. “You may see this colour in a pink diamond of less than one carat. But this is almost 19 carats and it’s as pink as can be. It’s unbelievable.”
While The Pink Legacy still holds the record for the highest price-per-carat purchase, the highest amount spent for any kind of pink diamond was set in a Sotheby’s auction in 2017. There, a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut Fancy Vivid Pink Internally Flawless diamond called The Pink Star was bought by Chow Tai Fook for a whopping $71.2 million.