“The Spirit of the Rose,” a 14.83-carat fancy vivid purple-pink diamond set a world auction record price for a diamond with this rare color combination, fetching more than $26.6 million.
Bidding for the oval-shaped, internally flawless gem opened at 18 million Swiss francs and ended quickly three bids later at 21 million francs ($22.9 million), 50,000 francs shy of the low estimate. With the buyer’s premium the final price was 24.4 million Swiss francs ($26.6 million).
The gem was sold by Sotheby’s Geneva. It immediately followed the auction house’s Magnificent and Noble Jewels auction. Both sales were held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The saleroom was void of buyers due to a new set of government restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
There was plenty of anticipation for the sale of the rare diamond. The high estimate was placed at $38 million. But during the sale there were just two bidders, one who placed an absentee bid and the other who placed a bid by phone. The latter bidder, who requested anonymity, won the diamond.
The gem was created from a 27.85-carat clear pink rough diamond unearthed three years ago from the Ebelyakh mine in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in northeast Russia, owned by the Russian mining giant, Alrosa. It is the largest pink rough diamond ever mined in Russia. The rough was then cut and polished for a year at the miner’s cutting facility in Moscow. The completed diamond was unveiled in February 2019.
The diamond was named after the celebrated Russian ballet, Le Spectre de la rose (The Spirit of the Rose), staged by the Ballet Russes company and produced by Sergei Diaghilev. It premiered April 19, 1911, at the Théâtre de Monte-Carlo. The ballet was just 10 minutes long but featured dancers Tamara Karsavina and Vaslav Nijinsky, two of the biggest stars of the Ballet Russes at the time.MORE FOR YOUA 998-Carat Diamond Was Discovered In Botswana28.88-Carat Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Fetches $3.1 MillionFive Famous Watches From Sylvester Stallone’s Collection Go Up For Auction, Including A Prized Panerai
As mentioned the sale of the Spirit of the Rose was preceded by Sotheby’s Magnificent and Noble Jewels sale. The auction of 102 lots had a sell-through rate of 85% based on my personal calculations. There were strong prices for white diamonds, with all 11 of these gems on offer finding buyers, with 10 them selling above estimates. Three white diamonds led the sale.
* The top lot overall in the sale was a platinum ring set with an 18.03-carat D-color, flawless cushion-shaped diamond with excellent polish and symmetry (third photo). It’s also a type IIa diamond, the most chemically pure. It fetched $1.9 million, exceeding estimates.
* A platinum ring featuring a 17.22-carat D-color, VVS1 clarity step-cut diamond fetched $1.3 million, exceeding estimates; and
* A 102.41-carat diamond with light brown color, S to T Range, and VVS2 clarity aold for $1.2 million, above estimates.
One diamond jewel that failed to sell was a highly anticipated fancy colored platinum and diamond necklace by Harry Winston. It is composed of a line of variously cut fancy colored diamonds weighing from 0.78 to 1.30 carats, alternating with brilliant-cut diamonds. Its estimate was $918,000 – $1.5 million.
One of the more intriguing lots was a five-piece Colombian emerald and diamond parure, circa 1770, with a well-documented provenance. It was formerly in the collection of the first Marques de Guirior (1708-1788), a Spanish naval officer and colonial administrator who served as Viceroy of New Granada and Viceroy of Peru. It fetched more than $1 million.
Another piece with noble heritage failed to sell. It was an Art Deco diamond necklace by Cartier, circa 1925. It was formerly in the collection of Henriette Hélène Porgès, the Marquise de la Ferté-Meun (1878-1946). She is the daughter of Jules Porgès, a French diamond pioneer who founded the Compagnie française de diamants du cap de Bonne-Espérance in the late 19th century. Its estimate is $400,000 – $500,000.