Rare pink diamond on auction in Switzerland

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A rare translucent pink diamond worth millions of euros goes on auction in Switzerland Tuesday in a highlight of a sale of fine jewellery, Sotheby's auctioneers said.

The pure colour of the diamond, mounted in a ring, is classified as "fancy intense pink" by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

The 10.99-carat, emerald-cut stone has been classed as a type IIa diamond, with the type II category making up less than two percent of gem diamonds, Sotheby's says on its website.

Stones in this categtory are the most chemically pure and often have a rare transparency. They have been found in India and in more recent times in Brazil and Africa.

Valued at between 8.3 and 14.8 million Swiss francs ($9-16 million; 6.3-11.3 million euros), the pink diamond comes from a private collection.

Sotheby's said it was one of the highlights of its "Magnificent Jewels and Nobel Jewels" auction in Geneva Tuesday.

Another is "the important emerald and diamond tiara to have appeared at auction in over 30 years", which dates from 1900, as well as Kashmir sapphires and Burmese rubies.

The tiara is valued at between 4.6 million and 9.2 million Swiss francs.

"I do not think that the market for coloured diamonds has ever been as strong as it is today," said Sotheby's jewellery chairman for Europe and the Middle East, David Bennett.

A 24.78-carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond was sold for a record 46.16 million dollars at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva in November.

© 2011 AFP

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