“This stone for me is the Leonardo da Vinci of diamonds, I don’t think there is anything better,” says Francois Curiel, chairman of Christie’s luxury group.

That is why US-based luxury jeweller Harry Winston has paid a world record 50.375 million Swiss francs (US$50 million) for the Pink Legacy diamond.

The rare pink stone weighs just under 19 carats, and the price of around US$2.6 million per carat is a world record for a pink diamond, according to jewel expert Curiel.

The new owners have renamed it the Winston Pink Legacy.

It had a pre-sale estimate of US$30 million to US$50 million at the jewellery auction in Geneva, which netted a total of US$110 million in sales.

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Graded vivid, which is the highest rating for a pink diamond’s colour, the gem is internally pure with a rectangular cut, and mounted on a platinum ring.

It was once owned by the Oppenheimer family, who built De Beers into the world’s biggest diamond trader, although the identity of the seller on this occasion was not disclosed.

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There were at least five people bidding by phone for the pink stone, but the winning bidder was a Harry Winston representative sitting in the front row, Curiel said.

An Asian collector was the direct under-bidder, Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewellery at Christie’s, said

“In 2013 they made their first important purchase after acquiring Winston, which was the 101 carat D flawless diamond, which they named the Winston Legacy. With that stone they started the Legacy collection,” said Kadakia.

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