14.83-carat Pink Diamond Could Reach $38M at Sotheby’s Auction

The largest pink diamond ever offered at auction could fetch up to $38 million at a Sotheby’s sale. Here’s what you need to know about the Spirit of the Rose.

Oct 12, 2020By Charlotte Davis, BA Art History
‘The Spirit of the Rose’ 14.83-carat diamond, via Sotheby’s and The National


A pink, 14.38-carat diamond is expected to fetch up to $38 million from a Sotheby’s auction next month. The massive diamond, called “The Spirit of the Rose,” is expected to be the top lot at the Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sotheby’s auction in November. 


The Spirit of the Rose will be among the most expensive auction results for diamond and jewelry sales, largely because of its high quality and rarity. Gary Schuler, the Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division, said, “The occurrence of pink diamonds in nature is extremely rare in any size…Having the opportunity to offer a large polished pink diamond of over 10-carats and with the richness of color and purity of The Spirit of the Rose is therefore truly exceptional.”


The Spirit Of The Rose

The ‘Nijinsky’ 27.85-carat clear pink rough diamond, via Sotheby’s


At a whopping 14.83 carats, The Spirit of the Rose is one of the largest flawless purple-pink diamonds ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. It has the highest grades of color and clarity and is classified as a Type IIa diamond, which is the purest and most transparent of all diamond crystals. This classification is rare, with less than 2% of gem-quality diamonds earning it. Sotheby’s has stated that the Spirit of the Rose’s “unparalleled qualities make it the largest Purple-Pink diamond to ever appear at auction.”


The Spirit of the Rose was cut from a 27.85-carat pink rough diamond called the “Nijinsky,” extracted in 2017 by diamond producer Alrose in the Ebelyakh mine in the Republic of Sakha, northeast Russia. Alrosa then spent a year polishing the gem into its current form, completing it in 2019. The finished diamond’s oval shape was chosen to ensure that it would keep its largest possible size. It is the largest pink rough diamond to ever be mined in Russia. 


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The diamond was given its name The Spirit of the Rose (Le Spectre de la rose) after the famous Russian ballet produced by Sergei Diaghilev. The ballet premiered at the Théâtre de Monte-Carlo in 1911, and even though it was only 10 minutes long, it featured two of the largest Ballet Russes stars of their time, making it a popular show. 


Pink Diamonds At Sotheby’s Auctions

The CTF Pink Star, a 59.60-carat diamond, 2017, via Sotheby’s


Prices for pink diamonds, especially high-quality ones, have increased 116% in the past decade. This is largely due to their growing rarity because of mining depletion. The auction of The Spirit of the Rose has arrived in tandem with the closure of the Argyle mine in Australia, which produces over 90% of pink diamonds in the world. This closure likely means that these diamonds will become even rarer, and thus, likely much more expensive. 


Recent Sotheby’s sales have included pink diamonds of above 10 carats. Notable among these is the “CTF Pink Star,” a 59.60-carat diamond that brought in HKD 553,037,500 ($71.2 million) at a Sotheby’s sale in Hong Kong, becoming the world record for any jewel or diamond at auction. “The Unique Pink,” a 15.38-carat diamond also sold at Sotheby’s in Geneva in 2016 for CHF 30,826,000 ($31.5 million).


They have also sold for huge sums by Christie’s. The “Winston Pink Legacy,” an 18.96-carat  diamond sold for CHF 50,375,000 ($50.3 million) at Christie’s in Geneva. Additionally, the “Pink Promise,” a 14.93-carat diamond fetched HKD 249,850,000 ($32 Million) at Christie’s in Hong Kong.

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By Charlotte DavisBA Art HistoryCharlotte is a contributing writer from Portland, Oregon now based in London, England. I’m an art historian with extensive knowledge in art history, classics, ancient art and archaeology.