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

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:

7 PHOTOS
Fancy Vivid Blue diamond
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Pear-shaped pink diamond sells for $31.5M at Sotheby's
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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