Pear-shaped pink diamond sells for $31.5M at Sotheby's

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This 15-Carat Rare Pink Diamond Sold for $31.5 Million

GENEVA (Reuters) -- A rare pear-shaped vivid pink diamond fetched 30.8 million Swiss francs ($31.46 million) at auction on Tuesday, Sotheby's said, but several other large stones failed to reach the reserve prices set by the sellers.

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The "Unique Pink," weighing 15.38 carats and mounted on a ring, sold to an Asian private collector bidding by telephone, the auction house said.

It was the star lot at the saleroom's semi-annual auction in Geneva, with a pre-sale estimate of $28 million-$38 million.

See more of the diamond in the gallery below:

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Rare pink diamond sold at Sotheby's auction
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Pear-shaped pink diamond sells for $31.5M at Sotheby's
An assistant poses with a 15.38 carat vivid pink diamond at Sotheby's auction house in London, Britain April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall
An assistant poses with a 15.38 carat vivid pink diamond at Sotheby's auction house in London, Britain April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall
A model poses with "The Unique Pink" diamond mounted during a preview at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva, Switzerland May 9, 2016. The supremely rare and exceptional Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, weighting 15.38 carats, is estimated to sell for US $ 28 to 38 million, when auctioned during the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva on May 17. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
A model poses with the "Unique Pink", a 15.38 carats vivid pink diamond, at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva, Switzerland May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
A model poses with "The Unique Pink" diamond mounted during a preview at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva, Switzerland May 9, 2016. The supremely rare and exceptional Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, weighting 15.38 carats, is estimated to sell for US $ 28 to 38 million, when auctioned during the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva on May 17. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
A model poses with "The Unique Pink" diamond mounted during a preview at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva, Switzerland May 9, 2016. The supremely rare and exceptional Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, weighting 15.38 carats, is estimated to sell for US $ 28 to 38 million, when auctioned during the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva on May 17. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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"The Unique Pink set a new world record for a fancy vivid pink diamond ... It's the highest price ever paid for a fancy vivid pink diamond," David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's international jewelry division, told reporters.

The "Sweet Josephine," a fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 16.08 carats, held the previous record since selling for $28.5 million at rival Christie's in November, and still retains the price per carat record in the category.

Overall, the Sotheby's sale netted $175.2 million, "setting a new world record for any jewelry auction," Sotheby's said in a statement. It eclipsed $160 million set a year ago.

In all, 83.2 percent of the 488 lots on offer found new owners, but "The Emperor Ruby" was among those stranded, with a bid of 3.6 million francs.

"There were a few stones that were disappointing but overall the sale was a huge success," Bennett said.

A British collection of 29 jewels by French jeweler Cartier sold for $3.4 million, doubling its low estimate, he said.

A "new world record" was set for a jewel by the late Paris-based jeweler Alexandre Reza - a fancy intense blue diamond brooch surrounded with diamonds sold for $13.4 million, he said.

"We've made a great effort to put together a sale that we thought was suitable for this particular market which is strong for the right things," Bennett said. "It seems to have paid off."

Ehud Arye Laniado, chairman of New York-based Cora International LLC, which cut, polished and sold the pink diamond, told Reuters in the showroom: "It was the time to sell. It is quite a strong price.

"We think slowly the market is grouping together with people who do believe in strong prices for fancy colored diamonds. It is a good sign because we see people who do believe in the resale value of those stones, like art," he added. "The trend will move to white diamonds."

($1 = 0.9791 Swiss francs)

Can't get enough diamonds? Check out more in the gallery below:

14 PHOTOS
Fancy Vivid Blue diamond
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Pear-shaped pink diamond sells for $31.5M at Sotheby's
An unidentified employee of auctioners Christie's examines a fancy vivid blue diamond ring of 12.02 carat in Geneva, Switzerland, on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2001. The largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at an auction is expected to fetch $6 million at the Christie's auction Tuesday, in Geneva. (AP Photo/Keystone/Martial Trezzini)
A Sotheby's employee displays the diamond ring, Magnificient Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, during an auction press preview at Sotheby's in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009. The auction Magnificent Jewels, will go on sale November 17 in Geneva. Because of their great rarity and beauty, diamonds of exceptional fancy colour have been sought by collectors for many years and will be represented in this sale by an extraordinary group of outstanding examples. After setting the current world record price per carat for any gemstone at auction (US$1,349,752) with the 'Star of Josephine' (Geneva, May 2009), strong competition is anticipated for this Magnificent Fancy Vivid Blue Pear-Shaped Modified Brilliant-Cut Diamond weighing 5.96 carats. (AP Photo/Keystone, Sandro Campardo)
An auction house worker poses for the photographers wearing 3 rings, one with cushion modified brilliant-cut vivid green diamond weighting 2.52 carats, one with a vivid blue pear-shaped modified brilliant-cut diamond weighting 5.96 carats, and one with a fancy pink cushion-shaped diamond weighting 6.63 carats, that will be part of an upcoming auction, in central London, Friday Oct. 23, 2009. . (AP Photos/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Daniele Mascetti, senior jewelry specialist for Sotheby's auction house poses for the photographers holding an internally flawless cushion-shaped blue diamond weighting 7.03 carats from the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa , during a presentation ahead of an auction in London, Monday April 27, 2009. The rare fancy vivid-blue diamond, which was cut from a 26.58 carat rough which was discovered in 2008 and is estimated to fetch some 3.9-5.8 million British pounds, (some 5.8-8.5 million US dollars) when it is auctioned as part of Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale on May 12, 2009. Blue diamonds are among the rarest of all gems and this stone has the highest possible grading. The buyer will have the honour of naming the diamond, according to the auction house. ( AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Daniele Mascetti, senior jewelry specialist for Sotheby's auction house poses for the photographers holding an internally flawless cushion-shaped blue diamond weighting 7.03 carats from the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa , during a presentation ahead of an auction in London, Monday April 27, 2009. The rare fancy vivid-blue diamond, which was cut from a 26.58 carat rough which was discovered in 2008 and is estimated to fetch some 3.9-5.8 million British pounds, (some 5.8-8.5 million US dollars) when it is auctioned as part of Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale on May 12, 2009. Blue diamonds are among the rarest of all gems and this stone has the highest possible grading. The buyer will have the honour of naming the diamond, according to the auction house. ( AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Sotheby's employee displays a Claw-set to the centre with a fancy vivid purplish pink oval diamond weighing 5.06 carats, within a surround of pear-shaped stones, mounted in platinum, left and The fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond weighing 3.73 carats, set between pear-shaped stone shoulders in platinum, right, during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 7, 2008. This fancy vivid purplish pink diamond is estimated to fetch 2,350,000-2,850,000 US dollars and fancy vivid blue diamond ring is estimated to fetch 2'800'000-3'500'000 US dollars at the Christie's jewellery sales on Wednesday, May 15, 2008 in Geneva. (AP Photo/Keystone/Martial Trezzini)
A Christie's employee presents, from left to right, a fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond ring weighing 3.45 carats, an important fancy cushion-shaped pink diamond ring, weighing 7.50 carats, and a fancy vivid yellow cushion-shaped diamond ring, weighing 20.02 carats, during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Feb. 12, 2007. The blue pear-shaped diamond ring is estimated to fetch US$1,300,000 - US$1,600,000,( 1,000 ,000 - 1,230,000 euro) the pink diamond ring is estimated to fetch US$2,500,000 - US$3,000,000 (1,920,000 - 2,300,000 euro) and the yellow cushion-shaped diamond ring is estimated to fetch US$1,000,000 - US$1,500 ,000 (748,000 - 1,153,000 euro) at the Christie's jewels sales on Feb. 21, in St. Moritz. (AP Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron)
A Christie's employee presents a fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond ring weighing 3.45 carats, during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, February 12, 2007. The diamond ring is estimated to fetch 1'300 000 - 1'600 000 US dollars at the Christie's jewels sales on February 21, in St. Moritz. (KEYSTONE/Laurent Gillieron)
The priceless 12 carat 'Blue Moon Diamond' is displayed at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles on September 12, 2014. The extremely rare 'Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond' was discovered in South Africa. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: A Sotheby's employee wears the The Premier Blue, Brilliant-Cut Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond on September 9, 2013 in London, England. The 7.59-Carat stone will be offered for auction in Hong Kong at their Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale on October 7, 2013 where it is expected to raise US$19 million. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: A Sotheby's employee displays a 5.16 carat pear shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ring, at Sotheby's on March 8, 2010 in London, England. The internally flawless diamond, estimated at 3 - 3.9 million GPB, is the first to come to auction from the De Beers Millennium collection and will be offered for sale at Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 7, 2010. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: A collection of rare diamond rings is displayed at Sotheby's on October 22, 2009 in London, England. Comprising of a cushion modified brilliant-cut vivid green diamond weighing 2.52 carats estimated at USD $3.1 million to 5.1 million (R), a fancy pink cushion-shaped diamond from a private collection weighing 6.63 carats estimated at USD $1.3 million to 1.9 million (C) and a rare fancy intense blue brilliant-cut diamond ring of 3.17 carats, from a private collection, is estimated at USD $1.6 million to 2.6 million will be sold at the Magnificent Jewels Sale at Sotheby's Geneva on November 17. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A model showcases a 17.16 carat step-cut unheated Kashmir sapphire and diamond Ring (top), a 35.72 carat step-cut Colombian emerald and diamond ring (lower) at a Sotheby's gallery in Hong Kong on September 18, 2014. TheColombian emerald and diamond ring is expected to fetch 4 to 4.6 Million USD at auction. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of 'The Blue', the world's largest flawless vivid blue diamond, on display during an evening 'Magnificent Jewels sale' auction by the Christie's auction house, on May 14, 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland. The spectacular blue diamond, considered the largest in the world in its category, was purchased by US jeweler Harry Winston for $ 23'790'000 (with costs) at a Christie's auction in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
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