‘Incomparable’ pink diamond could smash record at Geneva auction

‘Incomparable’ pink diamond could smash record at Geneva auction
The Pink Legacy has been described as ‘one of the world’s greatest diamonds.’ (AFP)
Updated 13 November 2018

‘Incomparable’ pink diamond could smash record at Geneva auction

‘Incomparable’ pink diamond could smash record at Geneva auction
  • The rectangular-cut diamond has been graded ‘fancy vivid’ — the highest possible grade of color intensity
  • The classic rectangular cut is traditionally used for white stones, but is rare for pink diamonds

GENEVA: An exceptionally rare 19-carat pink diamond goes under the hammer in Geneva Tuesday, when it could fetch $50 million, setting a new record for a stone of its kind.
The Pink Legacy used to belong to the Oppenheimer family, which for decades ran the De Beers diamond mining company, but auction house Christie’s refused to say who the current owner was.
Christie’s international head of jewelry, Rahul Kadakia, described The Pink Legacy as “one of the world’s greatest diamonds.”
The rectangular-cut diamond has been graded “fancy vivid” — the highest possible grade of color intensity.
Christie’s has noted that in the salesroom, fancy vivid pink diamonds over 10 carats are “virtually unheard of” and that only four vivid pink diamonds or over 10 carats have ever been offered at auction.
One of them, the nearly 15-carat Pink Promise, was sold last November at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong for $32.5 million. That amounts to $2.176 million per carat, which remains the world auction record price per carat for any pink diamond.
Eddie LeVian, CEO of jewelers Le Vian, said that record could fall at Tuesday’s auction, which is being held at the ultra-luxurious Four Seasons des Bergues hotel on the banks of Lake Geneva.
“We’ve recently witnessed a meteoric rise in the number of the world’s ultra-high net worth individuals who view rare, natural fancy color diamonds as investments,” Le Vian said in a statement.
“I therefore believe the Pink Legacy will beat the current world auction record,” he added.
The stone was discovered in a South African mine around a century ago and was probably cut in the 1920 and has not been altered since, Christie’s said.
“Imagine a domino that you have cut the corners off of,” Jean-Marc Lunel, an international jewelry specialist at Christie’s, recently said, pointing out that the cut is a “classical so-called emerald cut,” which stands out from the typical, more rounded, multi-facetted cuts used today.
The classic rectangular cut is traditionally used for white stones, but is rare for pink diamonds.
Christie’s said the Pink Legacy is “the largest and finest Fancy Vivid Pink diamond ever offered at auction by the company,” calling the stone “incomparable.”
“It is probably the most beautiful (specimen) ever presented at public auction,” Lunel said.


No-go for Joe Exotic: Donald Trump’s pardon list omits ‘Tiger King’

No-go for Joe Exotic: Donald Trump’s pardon list omits ‘Tiger King’
Updated 20 January 2021

No-go for Joe Exotic: Donald Trump’s pardon list omits ‘Tiger King’

No-go for Joe Exotic: Donald Trump’s pardon list omits ‘Tiger King’
  • Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison
OKLAHOMA CITY: One name missing in President Donald Trump’s flurry of pardons is “Tiger King” Joe Exotic.
His team was so confident in a pardon that they’d readied a celebratory limousine and a hair and wardrobe team to whisk away the zookeeper-turned-reality-TV-star, who is now serving a 22-year federal prison sentence in Texas. But he wasn’t on the list announced Wednesday morning.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison for violating federal wildlife laws and for his role in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival, Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida. Baskin was not harmed.
Maldonado-Passage, who has maintained his innocence, was also sentenced for killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records. A jury convicted him in April 2019.
In his pardon application filed in September, Maldonado-Passage’s attorneys argued that he was “railroaded and betrayed” by others. Maldonado-Passage, 57, is scheduled to be released from custody in 2037, but his attorneys said in the application that “he will likely die in prison” because of health concerns.
Maldonado-Passage’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Wednesday.
The blond mullet-wearing zookeeper, known for his expletive-laden rants on YouTube and a failed 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign, was prominently featured in the popular Netflix documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”