'Pink Legacy' diamond sells for more than $50 million to set 'new world record'

Christie’s has sold the “Pink Legacy” diamond at auction for more than 50 million dollars (£38.5 million) including fees, saying it is a new world record price per carat for a pink diamond.

Renowned jeweller Harry Winston was the buyer, the auction house said.

Christie’s had expected to fetch 30 million to 50 million dollars for the nearly 19-carat, rectangular-cut stone, the largest fancy vivid pink diamond it has ever put under the hammer.

It was the standout offering at its autumn jewellery auction in Geneva.

The standing-room only ballroom broke into applause after the auctioneer struck down a hammer price of 44.5 million dollars (£34.3 million).

That excludes the standard “buyer’s premium” and other fees.

The diamond Credit: Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP

The stone once belonged to the Oppenheimer diamond family, and Christie’s says it is among the most chemically pure gems — with little if any nitrogen.

Christie’s chairman for Europe, Francois Curiel, called the stone the “Leonardo da Vinci” of diamonds.

“The ‘Pink Legacy’ … brought this extremely high price of 50 million dollars — so 2.6 million dollars (£2m) per carat, which is a world record price for a pink diamond.

“The previous record was 2.1 million (£1.6m), but for a much larger stone: Over 50 carats,” Curiel said.

Christie’s sale kicks off two days of jewellery auctions in Geneva.

On Wednesday, Sotheby’s will auction jewellery once owned by French Queen Marie Antoinette that had not been seen in public for 200 years.