AUCTIONSJewellery and Watches

The Spirit of the Rose – Auction by Sotheby´s

“The Spirit of the Rose”

14.83 Carats


Ever to appear at auction

Cut from the largest pink rough ever mined in Russia, The ultra-rare gem comes for sale in the context of limited supply and rising demand for high-quality pink diamonds

Geneva, October 2020 – perfect white diamond for US$15.7 million last weeks, Sotheby’s announces that it will offer another rarity: the world’s largest vivid purple-pink diamond. Mined and cut by ALROSA – one of the world’s leading diamond producers, the 14.83 – carat Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink Internally Flawless diamond was faceted from the largest pink crystal ever mined in Russia. The ultra-rare gem is named after a celebrated Russian ballet, „The Spirit of the Rose“ and will be offered in Sotheby’s ‘Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels’ auction in Geneva on 11 November with an estimate of US $23-38 million (CHF 21 – 35 million).

Driven by a limited supply and rising demand, prices for top-quality large pink diamonds has increased exponentially over the past decade. The appearance of The Spirit of the Rose at auction also coincides with the expected closure, due to depletion, of the mine that produces the world’s largest supply of pink diamonds, at the end of the year.

Colour Grade: Fancy Vivid Purple – Pink
weight: 14.83 carats
Clarity Grade: Internally Flawless
Shape and Cutting style: Oval modified Brilliant

Gary Schuler, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division commented:

“The occurrence of pink diamonds in nature is extremely rare in any size. Only one per cent of all pink diamonds are larger than 10-carats and only four percent of all pink diamonds are graded ‘Fancy Vivid’ and display a rich, vivid colour. Having the opportunity to offer a large polished pink diamond of over 10-carats and with the richness of colour and purity of The Spirit of the Rose is therefore truly exceptional. The diamond’s character and immense presence is further enhanced by its perfect cut and oval shape: the numerous facets and shades of pink dance in front of your eyes in a mesmerizing way. It is a natural wonder, steeped in Russia’s century-long diamond tradition and cultural heritage.”

Benoit Repellin, Head of Sotheby’s Geneva ‘Magnificent Jewels’ auction, said:

“Pink diamonds, perhaps more than any other coloured diamond, have captured the imagination of collectors for centuries, making up 5 out of the 10 most valuable diamonds ever sold at auction. These exceptional sales, all realised in the last decade are a testament to the growing appreciation, and awareness of the great scarcity of these natural treasures around the world, and with the supply of these beautiful stones becoming ever more limited, they are likely to continue to become even more prized.

The Diamond and its Name

In homage to its Russian origins, the diamond was named after “Le Spectre de la rose” (The Spirit of the Rose), an acclaimed ballet premiered by the Ballets Russes company and their legendary impresario Sergey Dyagilev in Monaco in 1911.

At 14.83-carats, the ultra-rare gem is one of the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. Not only has the diamond received the highest colour and clarity grades, it has also been found to be part of the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds – known as Type IIa. Stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency

Russian Mine – Russian Cut

The stone was cut from the largest pink crystal ever mined in Russia which is currently the world’s most important diamond producer by volume 2. The 27.85-carat clear pink rough diamond was itself called the “Nijinsky”, a nod to the legendary dancer and his acclaimed performance as the „Rose” in the original Ballets Russes performance.

The rough diamond was unearthed by ALROSA – one of the world’s leading diamond producers – from the Ebelyakh deposit in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the northeast of Russia in July 2017. Russia has a long and rich tradition of gem-cutting and it took a whole year for Alrosa cutting masters to turn the diamond into its polished form. The oval shape was chosen in order to ensure that the diamond would be of the maximum possible size, while the dozens of facets would also emphasize the stone’s gentle, rose-petal colour.

Sotheby’s and Pink Diamonds

In the past decade, Sotheby’s has sold some of the most valuable pink diamonds in the world, including the record-breaking CTF Pink Star – a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut Fancy Vivid Pink Internally Flawless diamond – which sold for US$71.2 million – a world auction record for a diamond and any gemstone or jewel – in Hong Kong in April 2017. In November 2010, Sotheby’s also orchestrated the sale of the ‘Graff Pink’ – a 24.78-carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond of the purest, vibrant hue – for US$46.2 million

Famous Pink Diamonds

Ever since they were first discovered in the mines of India centuries ago, pink diamonds have been coveted by rulers and prized by connoisseurs. Many of the great historic diamonds happen to be pink, including:

•The rectangular, step-cut ‘Darya-i-Nur’ (Sea of Light), estimated to weigh between 175 and 195-carats. It is the principal gem in the Crown Jewels of Iran and together with the ‘Nur ul-Ain’(Light of the Eye), an oval brilliant of around 60-carats, once constituted the major part of the ‘Great Table’ diamond.

•The ‘Agra’ – just over 32-carats whose early history is linked to Babur, the first of the Mogul rulers

•The ‘Hortense‘ – a 20.53-carat rectangular-shaped diamond which was partof the Crown Jewels of France before entering the collection of the Louvre in Paris

•The celebrated ‘Williamson‘ – a brilliant of 23.60-carats given as a wedding present to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, when Princess Elizabeth.

Exhibitions and Auction

Prior to the sale, The Spirit of the Rose will be exhibited in Hong Kong (13-14 October), Singapore (20-21 October), Taipei (27-28 October), and Geneva (7-10 November).

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels


Auction by Sotheby´s

Geneva, 11 November 2020 at 6.30pm


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