$17.4m Martian Pink diamond up 45.8% on estimate
The Martian Pink diamond sold for $17.5m at Christie's Hong Kong on May 29
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 30 May 2012
The huge demand for the finest jewellery in Hong Kong has helped a 12-carat diamond, known as the Martian Pink, to an estimate smashing price.
The fancy intense pink, brilliant-cut ring diamond sold for $17.5m, up 45.8% on its $12m estimate at Christie's Hong Kong on May 29.
The US consignor had stipulated that the jewel should be sold in Hong Kong.
"He had studied the market pretty well and seen that all the top prices recently were obtained in Hong Kong because of the presence of the Chinese, and several other countries from South East Asia were very, very keen on diamonds," Francois Curiel, of Christie's jewellery department, told the BBC.
The result and our own experiences back the seller's conviction. It is estimated that China will account for 16% of the world's diamond market by 2016, as growing numbers of the country's increasingly wealthy inhabitants enter the market.
The superb item, the largest of its type, was produced by renowned US jeweller Harry Winston in 1976.
"It comes from Harry Winston, who was so impressed that the Americans had landed on Mars in 1976 that he looked at his inventory and he found a rough diamond which probably could come out as pink," said Curiel.
"So he cut it, and he cut it in such a way that the intensity of the thing was larger than any of the other things that he had ever cut before."
It sold to an anonymous telephone bidder.
The 45.52-carat Hope diamond is thought to be the most valuable diamond in the world. It is currently owned by a British collector and believed to be worth $350m.
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