In Brief

Pink Legacy diamond sold for record £38.5m

Ultra-rare gem sets a new high of £2m per carat

A rare diamond has sold at auction for $50m (£38.5m), the highest price per carat in history for a pink diamond and one of the highest for any diamond.

The 18.96-carat Pink Legacy went under the hammer at Christie’s in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday, as part of the auction house’s annual Magnificent Jewels sale.

“The room broke into applause after the auctioneer struck down a hammer price of $44.5 million (£34.3 million) plus fees,” says Sky News. The total bill of $50m works out to $2.6m (£2m) per carat, topping the previous record of $2.2m per carat set by the sale of the Pink Promise diamond at Christie's Hong Kong in November last year.

Although few predicted that the gem would reach the upper limit of its $30m to $50m estimated value at the auction, the sale of the jewel had “attracted a huge amount of interest because of its large size and impressive colour grading”, says CNN.

The gem is classified as Fancy Vivid - a level of colour intensity found in only one in 100,000 diamonds. Of the handful of stones categorised as Fancy Vivid, “fewer than 10% of pink diamonds weigh more than one-fifth of a carat”, says Fortune.

Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s international head of jewellery, said that “to find a diamond of this size with this colour is pretty much unreal”.

The diamond has now been renamed the Winston Pink Legacy after its new owner, US luxury jeweller Harry Winston Inc.

In a statement, the jeweller’s chief executive officer, Nayla Hayek, said the firm was “proud to continue in the Winston tradition of acquiring the finest gems in the world”.

The precious stone formerly belonged to the Oppenheimer family, who ran the De Beers diamond mining company until 2011. In May 2016, the Oppenheiemer Blue - a 14.62-carat blue diamond once owned by Sir Philip Oppenheimer - sold for $57.5 million (£40 million) at the same auction house, becoming the most expensive gemstone of all time.

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