Sotheby’ has unveiled an 11-carat fancy vivid pink diamond expected to sell for upwards of $20 million in a single-lot auction in October.
Dubbed the “Williamson Pink Star,” the diamond is the product of a 32-carat rough stone unearthed at the Williamson mine in Mwadui, Tanzania, the country’s only major diamond mine that is known for its “bubble-gum pink” stones.
Diacore bought the diamond for $13.8 million, or about $427,000 per carat, from mine operator Petra Diamonds in December 2021. At the time, Diacore Chairman Nir Livnat described it as a “rare masterpiece of nature.”
The company, which has cut a number of high-profile blue diamonds including the “CTF Pink Star” and the “De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond,” was able to craft the 32.32-carat chunk of rough into a 11.15-carat internally flawless cushion-cut diamond that is graded fancy vivid pink.
Sotheby’s said it is the second largest IF fancy vivid pink diamond ever to appear to auction.
The largest is the 59.60-carat CTF Pink Star, so named by its purchaser, Chow Tai Fook. The Chinese jewelry giant paid $71.2 million for the diamond in April 2017, and it remains the most expensive diamond, colored gemstone or jewel ever sold at auction.
Sotheby’s estimates the Williamson Pink Star, which is less than a quarter of the size of the CTF Pink Star, will sell for less overall—$21 million—but the auction house says it has the potential to set a new price-per-carat record for a fancy vivid pink.
The “Winston Pink Legacy” currently holds that record at $2.7 million per carat.
Wenhao Yu, chairman of jewelry and watches for Sotheby’s Asia, told National Jeweler in an interview Tuesday that the estimated hammer price for the Williamson Pink Star reflects both the quality of the diamond and the current market, where pink diamonds, particularly larger ones, are sought after.
He said gemstones like the Williamson Pink Star continue to hold their value because of their beauty, rarity and durability, even as NFTs gain steam as alternative investment vehicles and more companies that deal in luxury goods—Sotheby’s included—embrace them.
He pointed to the “great” sale of the De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond in April, $57.5 million against an estimate of $48 million, and the auction house’s overall growth in jewelry sales as evidence.
“This kind of rarity still holds value, especially the natural pieces from the earth,” Yu said.
Sotheby’s will offer the Williamson Pink Star in a single-lot auction in Hong Kong on Oct. 5. Prior to the sale, the auction house will take the diamond to Dubai, Singapore, Taipei and Hong Kong.
While the nearly 60-carat CTF Pink was snapped up by a large company, the Williamson Pink Star is much more wearable at 11 carats—it is, as Yu put it, a “very nice size to wear as a ring”—and could find a home with a private collector.
“There are a lot of gemstone collectors who are looking for something exceptional, and I think this qualifies.”
He also noted the diamond’s positioning at auction—not as the top lot in a larger jewelry sale but on its own, between Sotheby’s auctions of modern and contemporary art that same day.
“We consider this a true piece of art from Mother Nature,” Yu said. “It could be attractive to collectors of fine art.”