“Gem dealer 1: As in every stone of this size, there is a flaw.

Sultan: A flaw?

Gem dealer 2: The slightest flaw, your excellency.

Gem dealer 1: If you look deep into the stone, you will perceive the tiniest discoloration. It resembles an animal.

Sultan: An animal?

Gem dealer 1: A little panther.

Sultan: Yes! A pink panther. Come here, Dala. A gift to your father from his grateful people. Some day it will be yours. The most fabulous diamond in all the world. Come closer. “

Pink Panther [1963]

Excitement is in the air for a special diamond, known as the “Pink Star” is up for sale in a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva on 13th November 2013.

It is an oval shaped flawless fancy vivid pink diamond that is 59.50 carat and it is the largest to be graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA.)

The gem belongs to a small group of diamonds known as type 11a that are renowned for their chemical purity and transparency. The depth and richness of colour makes it a “vivid pink.”

According to a Bloomberg report The Pink Star also known as “The Steinmetz Pink” diamond was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999 and then took nearly two years to be cut and polished by Steinmetz Diamonds before being exhibited in Monaco in 2003. It was then shown in an exhibition called the “Splendor of Diamonds” at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington in 2003 alongside the Mossaieff Red, the Allnatt diamond and the De Beers Millenium Star. (One of 8 of the rarest diamonds ever displayed.)

In 2005 the Pink Star was also the star attraction at the Diamonds show at the Natural History Museum.

It was sold privately in 2007 and then renamed and has been entered into the auction by an unidentified seller.

It is estimated at over $60 million and is expected to hit the highest record for any gemstone at auction. Now that is big news because in recent history several diamonds have gone for record breaking prices and pink diamonds go for the largest sums of all. (In October in Hong Kong at a Sotheby’s auction a white diamond and a blue diamond went for $28 million and $19 million.)

In 2010 in a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, the “Graff Pink”, a 24.78 carat diamond sold for a record $45.6 million and in April this year in Christie’s International auction in New York, the “Princie” a 34.65 carat diamond sold for $39.3 million.

This diamond is more than twice the size of the Graff Pink and therefore could stand to make the highest price in auction for any gemstone. According to the Guardian, the diamond was 132.5 carat as a rough diamond.  

David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby’s European jewellery division said “It is difficult to exaggerate the rarity of vivid pink diamonds weighing only five carats, so this 50.60 carat stone is simply off the scale and passes, I believe, into the ranks of the Earth’s greatest natural treasures.”  

Bennett also said “Apart from the words about how rare it is, it’s just such a beautiful stone. Pink diamonds, in my experience, are the most desired of all colours. I’ve never shown a pink diamond to somebody who then hasn’t liked it. It’s a joyful colour. It makes people happy.”

What is the attraction of large pink diamonds? Firstly any coloured diamonds are highly prized because they are so rare.

Could it be because diamonds hold wonder as natural treasures, they after all come from the depths of the Earth, formed in the Earth’s mantle, crystallising 200Km below the earth’s surface and are thrown up to the surface through volcanoes?

Could it be that they have been romanticised by movies and the famous pink panther?

Could it be that they are the preserve of Hollywood movie stars? Jennifer Lopez’s engagement ring from Ben Affleck springs to mind.

See my article Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend And Not Just Any Girl….

Apart from the status symbol attached to owning large diamonds, they are considered to be an investment and in a reliable market.

According to jeweller Otto Jacob who exhibits at top art fair TEFAF in Maastricht, wealthy people are turning to diamonds as an alternative means of investing their funds rather than in financial markets.

The buyers in the Asian market have started to build up stocks of diamonds and this therefore raises the prices as there is high demand and short supply for the highest quality coloured diamonds.

There has been a significant increase in the number of high-end jewellery merchants at world international art fairs such as TEFAF and Masterpiece; raising the glamour stakes but also importantly attracting the right high net worth individuals to these prestigious art fairs.

It is not all about glamour of course. It is about sensible and safe investments.

To add to the drama Christie’s has announced the sale of the largest “fancy vivid orange” diamond to appear in auction, called “the Orange.” This diamond is 14.82 carats.

Watch this space for the Pink Star’s auction outcome.

If you like diamonds and you like the Pink Panther, look out for my next blog piece.

Jessica Franses