Rare $31.6 million 'Unique Pink' diamond sets new auction record

Story highlights

  • A rare 15.38 carat pink diamond set a new, $31.6 million auction record at Sotheby's on Tuesday
  • It eclipsed the previous $28.5 million record set by a 16.08 carat equivalent pink diamond sold in November 2015
  • The world's most expensive diamond remains the $48.4 million, 12.03 carat "Blue Moon of Josephine"

(CNN)An extremely rare 15.38 carat pear-shaped pink diamond -- called the 'Unique Pink' -- sold for $31.6 million at Sotheby's in Geneva on Tuesday, making it the most expensive fancy vivid pink diamond ever to sell at auction.

The spectacular diamond, set in a simple ring, sold to an Asian private buyer who bid for the rare gem over the telephone. A Sotheby's spokesperson said they were not yet able to reveal the buyer's identity.
    "It is difficult to imagine a diamond that better illustrates the term vivid pink than this outstanding stone...the color is simply astonishing," David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's International Jewellery, said in a statement announcing the sale.

    Sparkling record breakers

    The most expensive pink diamond ever to sell at auction remains the 24.78 carat 'Graff Pink,' which sold for $46.2 million at Sotheby's in November 2010.
    However, yesterday's 'Unique Pink' sale eclipsed the previous record for a fancy vivid pink diamond, set by the 'Sweet Josephine' at a Christie's auction in November 2015.
    That 16.08 carat diamond sold for $28.5 million to Hong Kong billionaire, Joseph Lau, who purchased it for his then 7-year-old daughter, Josephine.
    As colorful as these diamonds may be, they pale in comparison to the diamond Lau purchased for his daughter at a Sotheby's auction the very next day.
    Why are diamonds such an emotional purchase?
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      Why are diamonds such an emotional purchase?


    Why are diamonds such an emotional purchase? 02:16
    That 12.03 carat blue sparkler, dubbed the "Blue Moon of Josephine", sold for an eye-watering $48.4 million, making it the world's most expensive diamond ever.
    But that record may soon be challenged, with the 14.62 carat 'Oppenheimer Blue' -- the world's largest vivid blue diamond ever to be sold at auction -- going under the hammer at a Christie's auction in Geneva on Wednesday night.