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Pink Legacy goes on tour like Lesedi, but will it sparkle at the Geneva auction?

08 october 2018

A fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 18.96 carats, which was once part of the Oppenheimer collection, is set to go on a tour ahead of the Geneva auction on 13 November.

The rectangular cut Pink Legacy, as it is called, would be taken to Hong Kong, London and New York, before returning to Geneva, according to Christie’s auction house.

“The saturation, the intensity of this stone is as good as it gets in a coloured diamond,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewellery at Christie’s.

“To find a diamond of this size with this colour is pretty much unreal.

“You may see this colour in a pink diamond of less than one carat. But this is almost 19 carats and it’s as pink as can be. It’s unbelievable.”

Fancy vivid pink diamonds over 10 carats were essentially unheard of and only four such stones had ever appeared for sale.

Christie’s sold ‘The Pink Promise’, an oval-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond of just under 15 carats, for $32,5 million or $2,176 per carat, in Hong Kong last November.

It was projecting the Pink Legacy to fetch between $30 million and $50 million.

            Image credit: Christie’s Auction House

However, the hype around the stone, reminds many of Lucara’s Lesedi La Rona stone, which was also taken on tour to the Far East, Dubai in the Middle East, New York and Antwerp ahead of the London auction on June 29, 2016.

The company had partnered with Nemesis International DMCC and sold its 813-carat diamond – named “The Constellation” – for $63,1 million in May 2016, so it was confident that Lesedi, a 1,109-carat stone, would fetcher a better price.

So they engaged Sotheby's to auction the stone, which was valued at $70 million, with others claiming that bidding would reach $150 million.

However, the moment of reality came when bidding at the London auction stalled at $61 million.

Lesedi was expected to illuminate a lot of light for Lucara, but the end of its journey with the diamond miner, was somewhat dim as it was sold to Laurence Graff for $53 million or $47,777 per carat on 25 September, 2017.

So in as much as Lesedi proved to be a disappointment for Lucara, it’s our hope that the rare factor of these fancy vivid pink stones would shatter the record set in Hong Kong last year, come November 13.

Unlike Lesedi, the pink stone would not be sold at a public auction, a move that allegedly deterred potential buyers as they preferred private bidding.

Buyers are also wary of big stones like Lesedi as they would likely have fissures.

Chistie’s argues that prices for top-quality large pink diamonds had “increased exponentially” over the years propelled by collector demand.

Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia was the main producer of quality fancy pinks, but it was set to close by 2020.

Analysts believe this would boost demand and prices once the supply dwindles.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished