11.15 Carat ‘Williamson Pink Star’ Set Record Pink Diamond Per Carat at US$58.1 Million | Auctions News | THE VALUE
By: Kayan Wong | Photography: Justin Cheng
October 07, 2022 | Fri | 22:16
To a mixture of gasps and applause tonight, the 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star – the second largest flawless Fancy Vivid pink diamond to ever come to auction, fetched HK$453 million (approximately US$58.1 million) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong to set the new auction record for the pink diamond per carat.
Offered in a single-lot auction between two successful events, the Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sales, this Williamson Pink Star is undoubtedly the highlight of this season. In the end, its price per carat reached a staggering HK$40.6 million, nearly doubling the previous auction record set by the 18.96-carat ‘Winston Pink Legacy’ valued at HK$20.6 million per carat.
Williamson’s pink star
11.15 carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, flawless inside
Estimate upon request (expected by auction house to fetch over HK$170,000,000)
Hammer price: HK$392,000,000
Sold: HK$453,223,000 (about $58.1 million)
Auction house: Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Sale date: October 5, 2022
Auctioneer Ian McGinlay pitched the bid at HK$140 million to enthusiastic bidding. The price quickly soared to HK$200 million and from then on the bidding battle was between a gentleman in the auction room and the telephone bidder represented by Patti Wong, Senior International Chairman of Sotheby’s.
The 20-minute standoff saw both sides make cautious moves. After over 30 bids, the hammer finally fell to HK$392 million, going to the ground bidder with the 8808 paddle. The winning bidder was then greeted with a round of applause; Patti Wong and Nathan Drahi, managing director of Sotheby’s Asia, even approached to congratulate the winning bidder, who was known to be a collector in Boca Raton, Florida.
Patti Wong (left), Senior International Chairman of Sotheby’s, finally gave in
Patti Wong (left) and Nathan Drahi (right) approached to congratulate the winning bidder
In auction history, Williamson Pink Star is the second internally flawless Fancy Vivid pink diamond weighing over 10 carats to go under the hammer – the first being the 59.60 carat CTF Pink Star, which fetched a record HK$553 million (US$71.2). million) in 2017.
Pink is one of the rarest colors to occur naturally in diamonds. Of all diamonds submitted to the GIA, less than 3% are classified as colored diamonds, and less than 5% of these are considered predominantly pink. In 2002, the GIA conducted data analysis on over 1,400 pink diamonds – and only 4% of them could achieve the grade of Fancy Vivid Pink, most of which are often small in size.
Not only does the Williamson Pink Star exhibit the highest grades of color and clarity, it is also a Type IIa diamond, which has achieved the highest level in terms of chemical impurities, where only less 2% of all gem diamonds fall into this classification.
GIA report says Williamson Pink Star achieved top marks in various categories
Called ‘Williamson Pink Star’, it is named after two legendary pink diamonds. The first is the famous “Williamson” stone, a pink diamond given as a wedding gift to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1947 by Canadian geologist Dr. John Thorburn Williamson.
A favorite of the Queen, the pink stone also came from the Williamson Mine in Mwadui, Tanzania, which was one of the oldest diamond mines in the world, renowned for producing fine pink “bubblegum” diamonds.
The Williamson Stone has been refined from a 54.50 carat rough stone into a 23.60 carat round brilliant cut diamond. After polishing was completed, the pink diamond was mounted as the centerpiece of a floral brooch designed by Cartier. Since then, the Queen had worn it on many occasions during her reign, including the Silver Jubilee.
The Williamson Pink Star was also produced at the Williamson Mine, crafted and polished from a 32-carat cushion-cut rough diamond by Diacore’s master craftsmen, who brought out the diamond’s most intimate beauty.
The Williamson Stone served as the centerpiece of Queen Elizabeth II’s brooch
Williamson Pink Star was fashioned into a cushion cut diamond
The second is the CTF Pink Star record mentioned above. The 59.60-carat giant pink diamond, also cut by Diacore, was sold for 553 million Hong Kong dollars ($71.2 million) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2017 to Chow Tai Fook, a famous jewelry chain retailer based in Hong Kong. Until now, he still holds the world auction record for any diamond, gemstone or piece of jewelry.
As for pink diamond per carat, the previous record was HK$20.6 million, held by the 18.96-carat Winston Pink Legacy. It was acquired by renowned American luxury jeweler Harry Winston for 50.4 million francs (about $50.66 million) in Geneva in 2018.
Following the recent closure of the Argyle mine, prices for large, premium pink diamonds have surged over the past decade. Driven by growing demand and limited supply, it’s no surprise that Williamson Pink Star can set a new price-per-carat record for a fancy vivid pink diamond.
FCT pink star | Sold at HK$553,037,500 in 2017
CTF Pink Star weighs 59.60 carats
18.96 Carat Winston Rose Heritage | Sold at CHF 50,375,000 in 2018