The largest Fancy Intense Pink Internally Flawless diamond at auction: The Pink Supreme fetches US$10.7 million at Christie's Hong Kong

On 27 November, the 15.48-carat Pink Supreme – the largest Fancy Intense Pink Internally Flawless diamond ever offered at auction – sold for HK$83.87 million (US$10.7 million) at Christie's Hong Kong. According to the house, the buyer was the famous jeweller Diacore.

It was the most expensive piece of jewellery sold in the house's Magnificent Jewels and The Pink Supreme Sale, which pulled in more than HK$491 million (US$63 million) from 89 of the 113 lots sold. Its sale-through rate is a noteworthy 79%. 

Other valuable pieces in the sale include a pear-shaped 3.51-carat Fancy Vivid Blue VS2 diamond, and a special Fancy Vivid and Intense Blue and Pink diamond ring. Both of them were sold to private buyers in Hong Kong, while an Asian private buyer also snapped up a 40.05-carat Golconda diamond.

Lot 1911 | The Pink Supreme | Fancy intense pink Internally Flawless cushion brilliant-cut diamond of 15.48 carats, pear and round diamonds, gold
GIA report no.: 6019089
Estimate: HK$70,000,000 - 100,000,000
Hammer Price: HK$70,000,000
Sold: HK$83,875,000 (US$10.8 million)

Auctioneer Rahul Kadakia opened bidding on the Pink Supreme at HK$70 million and took five bids to hammer it at HK$70 million. After fees, it sold for HK$83.8 million (US$10.8 million) to a telephone bidder with paddle number 8061 represented by Vickie Sek (Chairman, Jewellery Asia-Pacific).

Weighing 15.48 carats, the Pink Supreme is the largest Fancy Intense Pink Internally Flawless diamond in auction history. With a final price with fees of HK$83.8 million (US$10.8 million), it achieves a price per carat of HK$5.4 million (US$700,000). 

In terms of colour grading, the stone ranks second on the GIA chart, only after Fancy Vivid. It is a Type II diamond, with cut and symmetry rated as a second-ranking Very Good. 

Only counting in colour grade, the largest Fancy Intense pink diamond ever auctioned is the 37.3-carat Raj Pink, which was offered at Sotheby's Geneva in 2017. With a clarity grade of VS1, which is four ranks behind Internally Flawless, it carried an estimate of CHF 19.5 million, and was eventually unsold. 

Vickie Sek (second right on the front row) won the Pink Supreme for her client with paddle number 8061

The Pink Supreme is the largest Fancy Intense Pink Internally Flawless diamond ever auctioned

While natural diamonds are composed of essentially pure carbon, many of them also contain trace elements, such as nitrogen or boron, acquired naturally during the course of formation. In describing a stone's chemical impurity, scientists classify diamonds into two categories: Type I and Type II. 

Type I diamonds, which contain nitrogen atoms, are the most common, accounting for approximately 98% of all diamonds. The remaining 2% fall into the Type II category, which is characterized by the absence of measurable nitrogen impurities, making them exceptionally pure and clear. 

Within Type II, there are further subdivisions: Type IIa and Type IIb. Type IIb diamonds are known to conduct electricity and contain elements of boron, while Type IIa is almost or entirely devoid of impurities. Diamonds in this group are the chemically purest and often have exceptional optical transparency.

Lot 1910 |  3.51-carat Fancy Vivid blue/VS2 pear modified brilliant-cut diamond ring
GIA report no.: 5221064868
Estimate: HK$45,000,000 - 65,000,000
Hammer Price: HK$41,200,000
Sold: HK$50,227,000 (US$6.4 million)


On an opening bid of HK$32 million, there were two interested buyers vying for this blue diamond ring: an online bidder, and a telephone bidder with Kevin Ching (Chairman of Asia). 

After rounds of back-and-forth bidding, the lot was eventually hammered at HK$41.2 million, going to Ching's client with paddle number 8017. After fees, its final price came to HK$50.2 million (US$6.4 million). 

The centre stone of this ring is a 3.51-carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, graded by GIA with a sixth-ranking VS2 clarity, a second-ranking Very Good polish, and a third-ranking Good symmetry. It does not have fluorescence. 

Kevin Ching won the lot for his client with paddle number 8017

Often referred to as a teardrop diamond, the pear cut is essentially the combination of the modern round brilliant cut and the marquise cut. In this cut, the diamond usually consists of 56 facets, allowing for a mesmerizing interplay of light. 

Thanks to the extended length, pear cuts tend to look larger for their carat weight compared to a round diamond. A popular engagement ring choice, it is also celebrated for flattering the fingers with its tapered outline. 

The history of the pear brilliant cut goes all the way back to 1458, when a Flemish diamond cutter named Lodewyk Van Berquem introduced the concept of absolute symmetry in the placement of facets on the stone. 

Above all, he is most credited with inventing the scaif, a polishing wheel infused with a mixture of olive oil and diamond dust. With the scaif, it became possible to polish all the facets of the diamond symmetrically at angles that best reflected the light. Up to the present, it is still widely used as an essential tool in the diamond industry.  

Lot 1872 | Fancy Vivid blue cushion mixed-cut diamond of 2.01 carats; Fancy Vivid pink cushion modified brilliant-cut diamond of 2.00 carats; Fancy Intense blue cushion modified brilliant-cut diamond of 1.01 carat; Fancy Intense purple-pink cushion modified brilliant-cut diamond of 1.01 carat, round diamonds, gold
GIA report no.: 220351927462175084325221869743, and 6227830382
Estimate: HK$30,000,000 - 50,000,000
Hammer Price: HK$30,000,000
Sold: HK$36,675,000 (US$4.69 million)

Bidding for this lot opened at HK$20 million and it was hammered after five bids at HK$30 million. With fees, it went for HK$36.7 million (US$4.69 million) to a telephone bidder with paddle number 8024, represented by Vickie Sek. 

The design of this ring is remarkably special, featuring four cushion-cut stones that form an irregular shape similar to a rhombus. 

Among the four stones, the two larger ones share the same colour grade of Fancy Vivid, and they both have a clarity of VS2, ranking sixth on the GIA chart. The pink one, however, is a Type II diamond, and it has the highest grade of an Excellent polish. Compared side by side, the main pink stone could be considered slightly superior in quality. 

Blue and pink diamonds have always been a popular pairing. For instance, in 2017, Christie's Hong Kong auctioned a diamond ring designed by the renowned British jeweller Moussaieff. The centre stone of the ring was a 3.06-carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond, elaborately complemented by pink diamonds. It fetched a price of HK$68.8 million at the time. 

Lot 1883 | 40.05-carat D colour Internally Flawless Golconda Diamond and pink diamond necklace
GIA report no.: 1152940306
Gübelin report no.: 23082170
Estimate: HK$28,500,000 - 38,000,000
Hammer Price: HK$29,500,000
Sold: HK$36,070,000 (US$4.6 million)

Auctioneer opened this 40.05-carat Golconda diamond at HK$19 million. At HK$20 million, Karen Au-Yeung (Senior International Specialist, Jewellery Department) jumped it to HK$28 million in a single bid – and it was when Isaac Choi (General Manager, South China) joined the bidding war.

In the end, Choi's client with paddle number 8123 took the lot home with a winning bid of HK$29.5 million. With fees, it sold for HK$36.07 million (US$4.6 million).

Isaac Choi won the Colconda diamond for his client with paddle number 8123

Reigning supreme among gem connoisseurs, Golconda diamonds are the historic gems that came from the fabled kingdom in India. Located in the Southern Indian peninsular shield, the Golconda region represents the world’s earliest and richest diamond mines, with diamonds of incomparable quality that were mostly reserved for emperors and rulers.

Diamond mining in Golconda peaked during the 16th to 18th centuries, with more than half of the Indian mines located there. According to scholars, the largest mine in Golconda would employ thousands of workers at one time. 

Unfortunately, by the close of the 19th century, the Golconda mines were completely closed due to centuries of depletion.

Often described as Diamonds of First Water, Golconda diamonds are remarkable in their almost indefinable water-clear appearance, which displays an elegant diaphanous quality and a degree of transparency rarely seen in stones from other localities.

Most of the Golconda diamonds belong to the category of Type IIa diamonds: the chemically purest ones with exceptional transparency. To mark this distinction, this colour is sometimes referred to as ‘Super-D’ or ‘whiter than white’.

The Golconda mines are located in Southern India. The Kingdom of Golconda ruled it, and its capital was also a trading center for diamonds

An 18th-century print depicting one of the mines in the Golconda region

The present lot

Celebrated as the ‘Diamond Capital’ of the past, the Golconda mines have produced some of history’s best-known diamonds, including the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian, the Koh-I-Noor which forms part of the British Crown Jewels, and the Regent Diamond on display in the Louvre.

The Regent Diamond, in particular, is a staggering 140.64-carat diamond now owned by the French state. Upon its unearthing in 1698, the stone immediately caught the attention of multiple merchants across British-ruled India. After changing hands several times, it was purchased by Philippe II the Duke of Orléans, Regent of France during the time of Louis XV, for a whopping £135,000. 

This stone was set into the crown of Louis XV and Louis XVI for their coronations. During the reign of Napoleon, the Regent Diamond was mounted on his ceremonial sword, which he carried to his coronation as Emperor. 

During the reign of Napoleon, the Regent Diamond was set in his ceremonial sword which he carried to his coronation as Emperor

The Regent Diamond is now on display in the Louvre

Auction Details:

Auction House: Christie's Hong Kong
Sale: Magnificent Jewels & The Pink Supreme
Date: 27 November 2023
Number of Lots: 113
Sold: 89
Unsold: 24
Sale Rate: 78.8%
Sale Total: HK$491,395,110