The Pink Star Diamond, which sold this month (November 2013) for $83 million dollars, is one of the most fabulous diamonds in the world. It is the largest fancy vivid pink internally flawless diamond in the world, and weighs in at an astonishing 59.60 carats, making the price paid almost 1,400,000 dollars per carat. It is the highest price paid at auction for a gemstone. It is mounted as a plain ring, and is one of the most beautiful stones in the world. It has been graded by the GIA, the world’s foremost authority on gemstones, who gave the colour and clarity grade, and also took the unusual step of issuing a letter to state that it is the largest such diamond that they have ever graded. Within this colour and saturation grade, the next largest stone is less than half its size. It was bought by New York dealer Isaac Wolf, who has renamed it the Pink Dream. Investment grade diamonds like this have made headlines recently, and appear to offer stability against volatility in world markets.
The rough diamond weighed 132.5 carats, and it took years to cut. Experts made over 50 resin models of the rough diamond in the process of deciding how to cut it, a process which took a long time! It is a type IIa diamond, the rarest type, which accounts for about 0.5% of all of the diamonds in the world. This type of diamond is the purest, even at a crystal level; while most diamonds contain trace amounts of nitrogen or boron, type IIa diamonds are comprised almost entirely of carbon atoms.
It was first in the public eye in 2003, when it was modelled by Helena Christensen at an event held in Monaco. It was later exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum, as part of a display of the finest diamonds in the world, where it was alongside the Hope Diamond, the Millennium Star (203 carats), the Moussaieff Red (the largest known red diamond in the world), the Harry Winston Pumpkin Diamond, the Allnatt Yellow Diamond, The Heart of Eternity Blue, and the Ocean Dream, a blue-green diamond. It gives an idea of the rarity and magnificence of the stone that it can hold its own in such company.
Over 1.6 million people came to see the diamonds. It was also a feature in the “Diamonds” exhibition held in London’s Natural History Museum in 2005.
It was sold privately in 2007 and renamed the Pink Star.
Of all of the grades of pink that one can see in a diamond, “Fancy Vivid” is the highest possible grade, and is a gorgeous deep colour. The cause of colour in diamonds is dealt with in more depth in another blog posting: http://www.weldons.ie/fancy-coloured-diamonds/
When it sold at auction, it took mere minutes for bidding to reach almost $60 million dollars, breaking the pre-sale estimate, and within a few more minutes a new world record for a gemstone at auction had been set, which, including fees, was a little over $83 million dollars.
Update (2017): The buyer in 2013 failed to settle the account, and Sotheby’s took it back into inventory. It sold in 2017 for 71 million US dollars.