In honor of April’s birthstone we offer you a sneak peek at the 15.81-carat internally flawless gem that will make history on May 23 as the largest fancy vivid purple-pink diamond ever to appear at auction. According to Christie's, this diamond weighs almost one carat more than the previous record-holder.
Named "The Sakura Diamond," the cherry-blossom-colored gem is expected to fetch between $25 million and $38 million when it hits the auction block at Christie's Magnificent Jewels sale in Hong Kong on May 23.
The auction house pointed out that unlike yellow and blue diamonds, which owe their color to chemical impurities that were substituted for carbon atoms as the crystal formed deep within the Earth, pink and red diamonds get their rich color from a randomly occurring molecular distortion.
This error of nature ironically yields one of the most beautiful and valuable gems known to man.
"Christie’s has offered some of the largest and the rarest pink diamonds in history across our global sale rooms," noted Vickie Sek, Chairman, Department of Jewellery, Christie’s Asia Pacific. "This season we are very honored to continue this fine tradition by presenting The Sakura Diamond in Hong Kong. This exceptionally rare and magnificent wonder of nature represents a unique expression of identity and mesmerizing beauty through its enthralling purple-pink hue that will undoubtedly capture the hearts of discerning connoisseurs and collectors worldwide.”
According to Christie's, the extreme rarity of the stone is amplified by the fact that fewer than 10% of pink diamonds weigh more than 1/5 of a carat. What's more, only 4% of pink diamonds possess a color deep enough to qualify as "Fancy Vivid," according to the Gemological Institute of America. Pink diamonds fall under the rare Type IIa category of diamonds, which make up less than 2% of all gem diamonds.
The Sakura Diamond will be heading out on a promotional tour, starting April 12 in Shanghai. Other destinations will include Beijing and Taipei before the diamond returns to Hong Kong on May 6, where it will go on exhibit at the Alexandra House. The auction will take place May 23 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Credit: Image courtesy of Christie's.