$50 million Pink Legacy diamond sets new record at Geneva auction

Christie’s jewelry department head Rahul Kadakia holds the hammer during the sale of The Pink Legacy on Tuesday, November 13, in Geneva. (AFP)
Updated 14 November 2018
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$50 million Pink Legacy diamond sets new record at Geneva auction

  • ‘This stone is for me the Leonardo da Vinci of diamonds’
  • Christie’s said only four vivid pink diamonds of over 10 carats have ever been offered at auction

GENEVA: An exceptionally rare pink diamond of nearly 19 carats fetched 50.3 million Swiss francs ($50 million) at auction in Geneva Tuesday, Christie’s said, setting a new per-carat record for a stone of its kind.
The Pink Legacy, which once belonged to the Oppenheimer family who for decades ran the De Beers diamond-mining company, was snapped up by American luxury brand Harry Winston, part of the Swiss Swatch group.
“$2.6 million per carat. That is a world record per carat for a pink diamond,” said Francois Curiel, head of Christie’s in Europe, of the price that included all fees and commissions.
“This stone is for me the Leonardo da Vinci of diamonds.”
The 18.96-carat diamond was discovered in a South African mine around a century ago, Christie’s said. It was probably cut in the 1920s and has not been altered since.
The stone was immediately rechristened the “Winston Pink Legacy” by its buyers.
Christie’s international head of jewelry, Rahul Kadakia, described it as “one of the world’s greatest diamonds.”
The rectangular-cut stone has been graded “fancy vivid” — the highest possible grade of color intensity — as it has no trace of another hue like purple, orange or brown.
Most pink diamonds weigh less than one carat and those in the top color category with more than 10 carats are virtually unheard of at auction houses.
The Pink Legacy is classed as Type IIa, meaning it is extremely chemically pure, a category only two percent of diamonds fall into.
“These are stones that have little if any trace of nitrogen,” said Kadakia, adding that this often gives Type IIa diamonds “exceptional transparency and brilliance.”
“Imagine a domino that you have cut the corners off of,” Jean-Marc Lunel, an international jewelry specialist at Christie’s, recently said, describing the stone’s unusual shape.
He pointed out that the diamond has a “classical so-called emerald cut” — standing out from the typical cuts used today, which are more rounded and multi-faceted.
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.
Christie’s said only four vivid pink diamonds of 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 was previously the world auction record price per carat for any pink diamond.
The Pink Legacy’s record-smashing price accounted for nearly half the takings at Tuesday’s auction, which saw total sales of more than $110 million, according to Christie’s spokeswoman Alexandra Kindermann.
While 86 percent of the lots found a buyer, a big heart-shaped white diamond of 53 carats, expected to fetch around $3 to 5 million, went unsold.
Another Geneva auction is set cause a buzz on Wednesday when Marie Antoinette’s diamonds and pearls go under the hammer at Sotheby’s.
The dazzling treasures, which have not been seen in public for two centuries, are part of a 100-piece collection held by the Italian royal House of Bourbon-Parma.


Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

Updated 18 September 2019

Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

  • Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media

CAIRO: Magi Sadeq, 25, is known for keeping a low profile in the media compared to the wives of other footballers. 

The wife of Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah has become something of a celebrity in her own right after appearing with her husband while maintaining a conservative look.

Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media, but sometimes there is no escaping the spotlight for his wife and daughter.

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award. She also appeared with their daughter Makka during celebrations marking Salah’s winning of the Premier League Golden Boot award, and after Liverpool won the 2019 UEFA Champions League.

Sadeq was born and raised in Nagrig, a village in Gharbia where Salah was also born. It is the same place where they like to spend their holidays and special occasions whenever they have the chance.

FASTFACT

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award.

She has a twin sister, Mohab, and two other sisters, Mahy and Miram. Their parents were both teachers at Mohamed Eyad Al-Tantawi School, where she met the future Egyptian international.

Sadeq, who maintains a simple lifestyle, fell in love with Salah 10 years before they married. Their love story was the talk of the town where they lived.

They were married in 2013 as the player started taking his first steps in Europe with Swiss football club Basel. They married when he returned home for his first holiday.  

She keeps her husband connected to his rural roots. She doesn’t have any social media accounts, and unlike other footballer’s wives, she is not interested in appearance and makeup. She prefers to wear body-covering conservative clothes.

Sadeq and her twin sister both obtained their degrees in biotechnology from Alexandria University. She is responsible for her husband’s charity work in Egypt. Her neighbors say that she helps in buying the necessary home appliances and other needs of newly married couples. She also supervises charity work and regularly attends the special events staged by her village even though she has been made busier after her husband joined Liverpool.

Salah once said of his wife: “I am unfair to Magi as I give her the least of my time due to the nature of my work. I would like to thank her for her support and for being in my life.”