Geneva–A pink diamond said to be the largest fancy intense pink diamond in the world was one of a few lots that failed to sell at Sotheby’s Wednesday.
At the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva, neither the “Raj Pink” nor the historic “Donnersmarck Diamonds” sold.
The 37.30-carat Raj Pink was the highlight of the sale, estimated to garner between $20 million and $30 million.
According to Reuters, bidding opened at $10.02 million and rose to about $14.1 million before the auction stalled.
The diamond’s current owner, who has chosen to remain anonymous, gave the stone its name, which is based on the Sanksrit word for “king.”
The rough that yielded the Raj Pink was studied for more than a year after its discovery in 2015, the auction house said, before a master cutter turned it into a cushion-modified brilliant cut.
The Gemological Institute of America has examined the diamond, saying it is an “astonishing stone” with a hue that is a “very bright and ravishing fancy intense pink color.”
Meanwhile, the Donnersmarck Diamonds (pictured below), a 102.54-carat cushion-shaped stone and an 82.47-carat pear, were offered as a single lot. The pair was expected to sell for between $9 million and $14 million, but only reached a bid high of $7.9 million, Reuters said.
The diamonds’ interesting provenance was one of their main selling points.
Countess Henckel von Donnersmarck, or “La Païva” as she eventually became known, was, arguably, the most famous and successful of the 19th century French courtesans, rising to become European aristocracy.
Running away to Paris at the age of 18, she fell in with the right cultural and artistic circles, marrying Marquis Albino Francisco de Araújo de Païva, an heir to two important Macao wholesale fortunes, in 1851.
The two were married for only a day but it gave her the nickname she’d have the rest of her life.
She then met her next husband, Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck, one of Europe’s richest men. The two married in 1871, and it is believed that it was during this time that she acquired what came to be known as the Donnersmarck Diamonds.
After she died in 1884, the stones stayed in the count’s family for more than a century until they appeared at auction in 2007. At that time, they garnered $8 million between them.
Sotheby’s did not offer a comment about the lots not selling when reached by National Jeweler. And according to its website, there were a number of other pieces that went unsold.
The Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale totaled $78.9 million.
Its top lot turned out to be a 33.63-carat step-cut fancy light pink diamond set in a Harry Winston ring, which garnered $12.8 million.
The next highest-selling lot jumped down to $5 million for a 18.86-carat ruby ring; $4.1 million for a necklace set with a cushion-shaped fancy intense yellow diamond weighing 102.50 carats, set in a frame of brilliant-cut diamonds with a “fringe” made of pear-shaped diamonds, brilliant-cut diamonds and diamonds of yellow tint; and a $2.6 million 22.76-carat step-cut diamond ring.
Full results can be found on Sothebys.com.