A world’s natural treasure estimated in excess of $60 million, this 59.60?carat, oval-cut pink diamond is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.
Commenting on the forthcoming sale of The Pink Star,
“I have had the privilege of examining some of the greatest gemstones in the world over the past 35 years, and I can say, without hesitation, that The Pink Star diamond is of immense importance,” said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division in Europe and the Middle East and chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland. “Its exceptional richness of color—graded as ‘vivid pink’ by the Gemological Institute of America—combined with its extraordinary size, are characteristics that surpass those of any known pink diamond in state, royal or private collections.
“It is difficult to exaggerate the rarity of vivid pink diamonds weighing only five carats, so this 59.60-carat stone is simply off any scale, and passes, I believe, into the ranks of the earth’s greatest natural treasures,” Bennett added.
Not only has The Pink Star received the highest color and clarity grades from the GIA for pink diamonds, it has also been found to be part of the rare subgroup comprising less than 2 percent of all gem diamonds—known as Type IIa (stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency). In addition, this extraordinarily important gem is more than twice the size of the magnificent “Graff Pink”—the 24.78-carat fancy intense pink diamond which established a world auction record for a diamond and any gemstone or jewel at $46.2 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010. The current record price per carat for a pink diamond ($2,155,332) was set by a 5?carat fancy vivid pink diamond.
“The occurrence of pink diamonds in nature is extremely rare in any size,” said Tom Moses, senior vice?president of the Gemological Institute of America. “It’s our experience that large polished pink diamonds—over 10 carats—very rarely occur with an intense color. The GIA Laboratory has been issuing grading reports for 50 years and this is the largest pink diamond with this depth of color (vivid pink) that we have ever characterized.”
The 132.5-carat rough diamond was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999 and painstakingly cut and polished by Steinmetz Diamonds over a period of two years and transformed into this stunning gemstone. Unveiled to the press and public as the “Steinmetz Pink” in Monaco in 2003, the stone was first sold in 2007 and subsequently renamed “The Pink Star.”
In 2003, the diamond was shown at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., in the Splendor of Diamonds exhibition, along with seven of the world’s rarest diamonds, including the De Beers Millennium Star, the Allnatt diamond and the Moussaieff Red. In 2005?06, it was the star attraction of the Diamonds exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London. The stone also features in all authoritative books on the subject.
Ever since they were first discovered in the mines of India centuries ago, pink diamonds have been coveted by rulers and prized by connoisseurs and are considered by many as the most desirable of all the colored diamonds. Many of the great gems of history happen to be pink diamonds, including the “Williamson,” the “Hortense,” the “Darya?i?Nur” and the “Agra.”
The sale of The Pink Star continues Sotheby’s tradition of bringing some of the rarest and most extraordinary objects to market. Sotheby’s Geneva has sold a number of the most valuable diamonds in the world and holds the current world auction record for a diamond and any gemstone or jewel since the sale of the “Graff Pink”—an exceptionally rare and truly magnificent Fancy Intense Pink diamond of the purest, vibrant hue, weighing 24.78 carats for $46.2 million.