Abu Dhabi // An extremely rare pink diamond that is expected to become the most expensive in the world next month made a short stop in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
The 24.78-carat diamond is expected to fetch between $27m and $38m (Dh140m) when it is auctioned by Sotheby's in Geneva on November 16. It has not been on the open market since the American jeweller Harry Winston sold it to a private collector more than 60 years ago.
The 35.56-carat Wittelsbach diamond is currently the most expensive diamond sold at auction. The deep greyish-blue stone was sold in 2008 for $24.3m. "We've come across lots of quite exceptional diamonds but, if you're talking about pink, this is really the best we've ever seen," said Daniela Mascetti, Sotheby's senior international jewellery specialist.
"It is something very, very special." Brett O'Connor, the auction house's senior jewellery specialist in Europe, added that its size was what made the diamond so rare. "When you cut a diamond, typically, you lose between 50 and 70 per cent of the weight of the stone - which means this [diamond] rough would have been in excess of 50 carats.
"But the most important thing is that this stone is pure pink. It's a lovely, feminine, intense pink. This is a phenomenal find and a phenomenally rare stone." The Abu Dhabi event, organised under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairperson of the UAE General Women's Union, followed a showing of the diamond in Hong Kong last week.
Mounted on a platinum ring, the baby pink stone will also tour London and New York before heading back to Geneva. "The Middle East has long been one of our most important markets for jewellery and a stone of this importance and beauty is bound to be of interest to collectors in the region," said David Bennett, Sotheby's head of international jewellery in Europe and the Middle East.
other things to buy for Dh140m
Rolls Royce Ghosts, costing Dh1,300,000 each
prize-winning female camels at Dh10 million each
million pizza burgers from Burger King at Dh39 each
thousand private R44 helicopters at Dh1,251,200 each