Pretty in Pink
Pink diamond ring, $51,074,708
November 13, 2018
Superlatives flow like sparkling pink champagne when experts describe the 18.96 carat fancy vivid pink diamond sold by Christie’s in Geneva on November 13, 2018, for $51,074,708, a world auction record per carat for a pink diamond. Seizing the spotlight, the buyer revealed itself to be Harry Winston whose own slogan is, ”Rare jewels of the world.” This stone certainly fits that description. The firm immediately dubbed the diamond “The Winston Pink Legacy.”
Color is often said to be in the mind’s eye but in the case of fancy color diamonds, the expert eye is that of the graders at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The descriptive, “fancy vivid pink” indicates a stone that is intensely saturated with color. In a stone of this size this is extremely rare. The main color in most colored diamonds is modified by another color, such as purple, orange, brown or grey. This stone is purely pink, through and through.
While color in diamonds can be traced most often to the presence of another element such as boron for blue diamonds or nitrogen in the case of yellow diamonds, pink diamonds are unique in the way they achieve their tone.
Although nature provides the raw material, it is the diamond cutter who coaxes the most color from a pink diamond. The elusive quality of color in diamonds stems, in the case of pinks, from their internal structure. According to the GIA’s John King, “Color seems to form along the slip planes. There’s a deformation of the structure. We often see this occur in the pink to brown range. The orientation of the rough [during polishing] can make a difference in the internal reflections and refractions and you can lose some of that color.”
Rarity, size and purity of color all combined with the hand of that unheralded cutter to bring this piece of diamond rough to its maximum potential. The stone was cut in a rectangular shape, modified by cut corners, and set in a ring with white or colorless side diamonds. It remains to be seen if Harry Winston will re-set the ring.