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How the pink diamond became the world’s hottest gemstone

In a gilded ballroom at the Four Seasons hotel in Geneva last month, the world’s wealthiest collectors and their envoys gathered to bid on the final and most anticipated lot: a nearly 19-carat cotton-candy colored diamond called the Pink Legacy. As the stunning rectangular-cut gem, set in a ring with two white diamond side stones, appeared on stage in its own illuminated glass case, the crowd of more than 500 hushed. Then the frenzied bidding began, quickly surpassing the auction house’s low estimate of $30 million, as four clients — two in the room, two others on the phone — topped one another’s outrageous offers until, finally, the gavel dropped. Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewelry for Christie’s and the auctio ...