An “incredibly rare” purple-pink Russian diamond was auctioned this week for more than $26 million, a record for a gem of its kind. Sotheby’s said it sold the massive 14.8-carat
An “incredibly rare” purple-pink Russian diamond was auctioned this week for more than $26 million, a record for a gem of its kind.
Sotheby’s said it sold the massive 14.8-carat stone — dubbed “The Spirit of the Rose” — at a Wednesday auction in Geneva to an anonymous buyer who placed the winning bid over the phone.
The flawless gem now holds the record for the most expensive purple-pink diamond ever sold at auction, according to the auction house, which had estimated it could fetch anywhere from about $23 million to roughly $38 million.
Named for an early 20th century Russian ballet, “The Spirit of the Rose” was carved from a huge 27.8 carat rough diamond that Russian mining giant Alrosa unearthed in July 2017 in a northeastern region of the country.
It took an entire year to cut and polish the stone, which was the largest pink crystal ever dug up in Russia, a country that produces about 30 percent of the world’s diamonds each year, according to Sotheby’s.
Colored diamonds get their sought-after tints from chemical disturbances that occur in the earth while they’re being formed, the auction house says. The first pink diamonds were discovered in the early 17th century and most of those unearthed today come from from the Argyle mine in Western Australia.
While “The Spirit of the Rose” set a record price for its particular hue, it was still far cheaper than the most expensive pink diamond ever auctioned. That title belongs to the 59.6-carat “CTF Pink Star,” which went for $71.2 million at an April 2017 Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong.