Sotheby’s has announced the sale of the third largest pink diamond in the world, the 59.60-carat, oval-cut, fancy vivid pink “Pink Star Diamond” aka the “Steinmetz Pink Diamond” at its Magnificent Jewels auction to be held in Geneva, on November 13, 2013. With a pre-sale estimate of over USD 60 million, the diamond with a combination of rare and desirable characteristics, such as the fancy vivid pink color grade, internally flawless clarity grade, a unique oval mixed cut, and a relatively enormous weight of 59.60-carats for a pink diamond, makes the “Pink Star Diamond” one of the World’s Natural Treasures and the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at an auction. In the List of famous pink diamonds in the world, the “Pink Star Diamond” aka the “Steinmetz Pink Diamond” occupies the 3rd-position, after the 186-carat “Darya-i-Nur” and the 60-carat Nur-ul-Ain diamonds. This list also reveals that the “Pink Star Diamond” is the largest fancy vivid pink diamond in the world.
The “Pink Star Diamond” is a chemically pure rare Type IIa diamond that constitute about 1-2% of all naturally occurring diamonds. However, more significant than this is that the diamond belongs to the extremely rare sub-type known as “chemically pure but structurally deformed,” which constitute less than 0.1% of all naturally occurring diamonds. It is the plastic deformation of the crystal structure that induces the rare fancy pink color to the diamond. A mathematical computation of pink diamond production in the Argyle diamond mines in Australia has shown that the frequency of production of pink diamonds is 1.0 carat of pink diamonds for every one million carats of rough diamonds. This works out to a probability of occurrence of 1/1,000,000 = 0.000001 or a percentage occurrence of 0.0001%, which is indeed a very low percentage of occurrence!
Among pink diamonds the occurrence of intense pink colors is even rarer still. The rarity of such intense pink colors has been put in the proper perspective by the following comment by Tom Moses, senior vice-president of the Gemological Institute of America, “The occurrence of pink diamonds in nature is extremely rare in any size. It is our experience that large polished pink diamonds – over ten 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 “Pink Star” rough diamond weighing 132.5 carats was mined by De Beers from an African mine in 1999 and subsequently cut and polished by the master cutters of the Steinmetz Group over a period of two years, and transformed into a stunning oval-shaped diamond with a step-cut crown and a brilliant-cut pavilion. The finished diamond, christened the “Steinmetz Pink” was unveiled in Monaco on May 29, 2003, at a public ceremony, and was briefly worn around the neck of super-model Helena Christensen. The “Steinmetz Pink” was first sold to an anonymous buyer by Steinmetz Group in 2007, and the diamond was renamed the “Pink Star” diamond. Since then there had been no change in the ownership of the diamond, and the diamond appears to have been put up for sale by the same anonymous owner.
Unlike other diamonds that had appeared at public auctions, the “Pink Star” aka the “Steinmetz Pink” diamond had received international attention and had been viewed by thousands of visitors and diamond enthusiasts worldwide, when it was exhibited as part of two public exhibitions held in the Natural History Museums of Washington and London. The first exhibition known as the “Splendor of Diamonds” exhibition was held between June 27 and September 30, 2003 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natrual History in Washigton D.C. and apart from the “Steinmetz Pink” diamond also featured other famous diamonds such as the Millennium Star, the Alnatt diamond, the Pumpkin diamond, the Heart of Eternity, the Ocean Dream, and the Moussaieff Red. The second exhibition known as “Diamonds” exhibition was held at the Natural History Museum in London, between July 8, 2005 and February 26, 2006, and featured a star line-up of eight of the world’s most incredible diamonds, that included the De Beers Millennium Star, the Steinmetz Pink, the Incomparable, The Ocean Dream, The Moussaieff Red, the Heart of Eternity, the Alnatt, and the 616-carat Kimberley Octahedron diamond. The exhibition also included the Eureka, the Shah Jahaan and the Aurora Collection, a set of 296 naturally colored diamonds, totaling a staggering 267.45 carats.
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 CHF 45.4million ($46.2million)
Given the global interest in a treasure of this nature, The Pink Star will be showcased on a worldwide tour, travelling to cities including Hong Kong, New York, London, Zurich and Geneva.