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‘Raj Pink’ diamond, top gems, fail to sell at Sotheby’s sale

A sizeable pink diamond, rare for its color and clarity, was among several worst jewels that failed to sell on Wednesday at Sotheby’s auction in Geneva.

The 37.3-carat cushion-shaped stone, recognized as the “Raj Pink” and mounted on a ring, was billed as the star lot at Sotheby’s semi-annual jewelry rummage sale in the Swiss city. The pre-sale estimate for the diamond, found in South Africa in 2015, was $20 million to $30 million.

Direction opened on it at 9.9 million Swiss francs ($10.02 million) and climbed to 14 million Swiss francs up front stalling.

“It was not sold,” David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s foreign jewelry division who conducted the auction, told the crowded saleroom. The “Raj Pink” was named by its progress owner, who wished to remain anonymous, Sotheby’s said. The name is homed on the Sanskrit word for king.

Other major lots were formerly larboard hanging, failing to meet the secret reserve price set by their sellers.

They involved a blue diamond ring by jeweler Moussaieff with the last bid of 12.4 million Swiss francs and a twins of yellow diamonds that formerly belonged to the German princely genealogy of Von Donnersmarck, which reached 7.8 million Swiss francs.

Alone 303 of the 349 lots found new owners, according to Sotheby’s designs. In all, the sale netted 77.9 million francs.

A Harry Winston peculiarity light pink diamond ring, described as an “absolutely sensationally delightful stone” by Bennett, brought the strongest price of the night and set a world diary for that category at auction, Sotheby’s said.

It sold for 12.6 million Swiss francs to a horn bidder who purchased it from a European noble family which owned the 1970 bit by the New York jeweler, Sotheby’s said.

Graff Diamonds Ltd, founded by London non-essential jeweler Laurence Graff, scooped up two lots – a pair of flawless diamond earrings for 2.4 million francs and a 19th-century emerald and diamond necklace and equivalent earrings for 1.63 million francs, Sotheby’s said.

“Pieces be obliged be exceptional to sell today at the same level as two years ago,” Eric Valdieu, a Geneva-based jewelry jobber formerly of Christie’s, told Reuters after the auction.

The “Raj Pink” was not an undisturbed stone to sell, he said, adding: “It was a modern, recent stone and not a 10 out of 10 in calls of its color and form. It had no history,” Valdieu said.

Tobias Kormind, managing headman of 77Diamonds.com, Europe’s largest online diamond jeweler, said in a expression that Sotheby’s sale did not bode well for prices: “I’m worried for the top end of the diamond market-place.”

At rival Christie’s on Tuesday night, an emerald and diamond necklace set with the largest unsoiled white diamond ever to come to auction sold for a world transactions 33.5 million Swiss francs ($34 million), the star lot at its Geneva transaction marked down.

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