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Rare ‘Sakura’ diamond—the largest of its kind—gets sold for P1.4 billion in Hong Kong

By Hannah Mallorca Published May 24, 2021 6:26 pm

A 15.81-carat heart-shaped diamond, known as “The Sakura Diamond,” fetched $29.1 million (P1.4 billion) in Hong Kong's "Magnificent Jewels" sale—making it the most expensive purple-pink diamond ever to sell at an auction.

Pink diamonds are known to be rare because of their limited supply. However, what sets “The Sakura Diamond” apart is its vivid purple-pink shade and Internally Flawless clarity. This means that it comes in a flawless finish, and its blemishes can only be viewed under 10x magnification.

Named after the Japanese word for cherry blossom, the diamond is described as an “unusual find” since less than 10% of pink diamonds weigh more than 1/5 of a carat. 

A press statement from Christie’s, the auction house behind the sale, said that the diamond is the “largest of its kind” to be offered at an auction. 

"The Sakura Diamond" is classified as "fancy vivid" for its vivid pink hue with a "secondary color of purple." Photo from Christie's

According to Christie’s, the Sakura Diamond is graded as “fancy vivid” for its “strong saturation and remarkable pink hue with a secondary color of purple,” stating that only 4% of pink diamonds are qualified as such.

The “Sakura” diamond fell short of Christie’s initial estimated price of $38 million (P1.8 billion), yet it still broke the auction record for a purple-pink diamond. 

"The Spirit of a Rose" is a pink diamond that was sold for $27 million (P1.2 billion) in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo from Sotheby's

The previous record for a purple-pink diamond belonged to a 14.8-carat gem called “The Spirit of the Rose” that was sold for $27 million (P1.2 billion) at Sotheby’s in Geneva, Switzerland in November 2020.