Recut pink diamond soars in value to over $32 million
The decision to recut a huge pink diamond appears to have paid off, with the gem selling for more than $32 million at Christie's Hong Kong yesterday. Although previous owner, gemologist Stephen Silver, is keeping quiet about the price paid for the stone in 2013, his gamble is understood to have significantly increased its value.
Known as "The Pink Promise," the oval jewel -- which is set in a platinum ring -- achieved the second-highest per-carat price ever paid for a pink diamond.
When Silver first acquired the stone it weighed 16.10 carats, with its color classified as "fancy intense." Over the course of three years, he oversaw a recut that shrank the diamond to 14.93 carats.
But despite its reduced size, the removal of less brilliant areas of the diamond meant that it was subsequently certified by the Gemological Institute of America as being "fancy vivid" pink -- a far rarer and more valuable color grade.
"When we bought the stone we recognized there was an opportunity," Silver said in a phone interview following the auction. "The risk was (not knowing) how much could we improve it, or whether we could get the color to be more intense. The leap between intense pink and vivid pink is huge.
"The stone was (previously) cut about 15 years ago. But our understanding of (how to maximize) a stone's color has changed dramatically since then, so technology has had a big impact. Now we can measure light and the facets of stones to thousandths of a millimeter rather than tenths of a millimeter."
While the jewel's value will have leapt substantially following the recut, its $32.16 million price tag fell somewhat below top auction estimates. Christie's initially hoped the diamond would attract bids of over $40 million, a price that would have taken it into the record books.
But the Pink Promise sold for approximately $2.13 million a carat, just short of the $2.15 million per-carat price achieved by a smaller pink diamond at Christie's Hong Kong in 2009.