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The most important purple and pink diamond ever auctioned off, sells for practically $ 27 million

The Spirit of the Rose, a rare purple-pink diamond mined in Russia, sold for nearly $ 27 million at Sotheby's auction. A picture taken at a press preview on November 6, 2020.

Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images

The largest purple and pink diamond ever auctioned was sold in Geneva, Switzerland for 24,393,000 Swiss francs ($ 26,700,871).

The purple-pink diamond, named "The Spirit of the Rose", was sold to an anonymous buyer who had made a call to bid at the Sotheby & # 39; s auction on Tuesday. It weighs 14.8 carats but was cut from a larger rough diamond, weighing 27.8 carats, discovered in 2017 in Yakutia, northeastern Russia.

The rough diamond is said to be the largest pink crystal ever mined in Russia and was named "Nijinksy" after the legendary Russian-Polish ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. "The Spirit of the Rose" was the name of the cut diamond after the last ballet Nijinsky performed on stage.

It took Russian master cutters a year to shape the final diamond and give it an oval shape to ensure it was the maximum size.

Pink diamonds were first discovered in India in the 17th century and their color is believed to be the result of a distortion of the "crystal lattice" or its atomic arrangement. This is "created by intense heat and great pressure after the stone has formed in the earth," according to a statement on Sotheby's website.

"This distortion displaces many carbon atoms from their normal positions and changes the qualities of light reflected from the diamond – which leads us to think of the stone as pink," explained the auction house.

Pink diamonds are different from other colored diamonds because there are no chemical trace elements when they are formed. For example, the presence of nitrogen forms yellow diamonds while boron creates blue diamonds.

Only 1% of the pink diamonds are said to be larger than 10 carats and only 4% are classified as "chic vivid".

The "CTF Pink Star", weighing 59.6 carats, holds the current record for the price of a pink diamond paid at auction at $ 71.2 million, which was sold in Hong Kong in April 2017.

"The Grand Table", which was shown to a French merchant and adventurer in India in the 17th century, is the largest pink diamond recorded to date with over 200 carats.

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