A world record was smashed when a rare gem was sold for 45.4 million francs ($46 million) at auction in Geneva this week. Laurence Graff won the bid for a 24.78-carat rare pink emerald cut diamond surpassing initial expectations of $27 million to $38 million dollars. “This is the highest price ever bid for a jewel at auction,” said David Bennett, the head of Sotheby’s European and the Middle Eastern jewelry departments. “Everybody was surprised it went that high,” Mart van Drunen, a jeweler from Amsterdam, commented after the sale.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has classified the diamond as “Fancy Intense Pink”. Sold by a private collector, this marks the first time the gem was put on the market in 60 years. “What makes it so immensely rare is the combination of its exceptional color and purity with the classic emerald-cut,” said chairman David Bennett. “It’s a style of cutting normally associated with white diamonds and one that is so highly sought-after when found in rare colors such as pink and blue,” he added.
Graff immediately renamed the gem the “The Graff Pink”. “It is the most fabulous diamond I’ve seen in the history of my career and I’m delighted to have bought it,” he said in a statement issued by Sotheby’s. The jewelry auction raised a record 103 million francs.