Hong Kong–“The Pink Promise” diamond, a 14.93-carat fancy vivid pink, sold for $31.9 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Hong Kong sale Tuesday, nearly matching the world auction record for per-carat price for a pink diamond.
That works out to $2.13 million, just short of the $2.15 million per carat a buyer paid for a 5-carat vivid pink diamond at Christie’s Hong Kong in December 2009.
It was the end of an interesting journey for the Type IIa stone’s seller, Stephen Silver, who originally purchased the diamond in 2013 and recut it to maximize its color.
“The work we did on this particular diamond was the most challenging recut in which I have been involved, due to the technical difficulty and large financial risk,” Silver said in a press release. “It is a privilege, however, to work with a world-class team and have my name associated with one of the world’s great gemstones.”
Silver has worked with or owned many important stones, including the Cullinan Blue Diamond necklace, which he purchased in the 1990s and later donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
He’s also recut various colored diamonds, including “The Cranberry,” a fancy purplish-red; “The Million Dollar Pumpkin,” a fancy vivid orange; and a fancy vivid blue diamond. Each of these diamonds ranged from 1 to 6 carats.
Silver has spent his entire adult life dedicated to pursuing his fascination for rare and unique stones. The San Francisco-area native started his career by obtaining a geology degree from San Diego State University before becoming a certified gemologist at the Gemological Institute of America and going on to work at a diamond and colored gemstone company in Los Angeles.
Upon returning to San Francisco, he established an estate jewelry firm for antiques and important stones, which later became a vertically integrated wholesale manufacture and retail business.
When it came to his acquisition of “The Pink Promise” in 2013, Silver had a hunch that the stone, which weighed 16.10 carats at the time of his purchase, could be cut in certain areas to bring out a deeper hue.
It took Silver and a master gem cutter three years of planning and meticulous facet-by-facet cutting to achieve their desired outcome.
Down to 14.93 carats, the GIA certified what was once a fancy intense pink diamond to a fancy vivid pink diamond, the highest color grade possible for a pink diamond. They also certified the stone as having VVS1 clarity, just under flawless.
“The Pink Promise” represents the largest and most valued project of Silver’s gemology career, he said.