FAMOUS PINK DIAMONDS

 

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The Steinmetz Pink

The 59.60 ct Internally Flawless Steinmetz Pink is probably the finest pink diamond in the world presently. It was first unveiled in Monaco in May, 2003, and briefly worn around the neck of supermodel Helena Christensen, the gem was discovered in southern Africa and is the largest Fancy Vivid Pink diamond known in the world. Pink diamonds are extremely rare and usually found in much, much smaller sizes and Internally Flawless is an extremely rare and coveted clarity grade.

Given its extraordinary importance, the Steinmetz Group took approximately 20 months to cut the diamond. A team of eight people worked on fashioning the gem from the 100-carat rough stone. Fifty models were worked on before the cutting even began. One wrong move and the priceless diamond would have shattered. The gem's facet pattern is very unique: it is an oval mixed cut with a step-cut crown and a brilliant cut pavilion. It is thought that the stone is owned by the Steinmetz Group.

 

 

The Nur - Ul - Ain

Believed to originate from India, the oval brilliant-cut, 60 ct., pale pink Nur-Ul-Ain diamond is the centerpiece of a tiara designed by Harry Winston for the wedding of the Empress Farah to the last Shah of Iran in 1958. The stone is one of the largest pink diamonds in the world.

The name means the Light of the Eye. It was plundered from the Mogul Emperor of India by the Persians in 1739. The diamond is set in platinum, and is surrounded by pink, yellow, and colourless diamonds with a row of colourless baguette diamonds in tapering sizes lining the base of the tiara. The tiara contains 324 diamonds in total.

 

 

The Darya - i - Nur

Considered to be the most celebrated diamond in the Iranian Crown Jewels and one of the oldest known to man, the 186 ct. Darya-i-Nur is a crudely fashioned table or 'taviz' cut diamond. The name means Sea of Light, River of Light, or Ocean of Light. It should be noted that the exact weight of the stone is not really known. The figure of 186 carats listed here by GIA is an estimate. The stone is estimated to weigh somewhere between 175 and 195 ct., and it is a light pink colour. The reason the exact weight is not known is because the stone cannot be removed from its setting without major risk of destroying the setting.

The Darya-i-Nur is mounted on a frame set with 457 smaller diamonds and 4 rubies, surmounted by the lion and sun symbols, signifying the Aryan origins of the Iranian people. The Darya-i-Nur and Nur-ul-Ain (above) are believed to have been cut from the same rare, pale pink, enormous, 400 ct. diamond, known as "Diamanta Grande Table" (the Great Table Diamond), by Jean Baptiste Tavernier, the 17th century French traveler and jeweler, who had seen it at Golconda in South India in 1642. This seems to be confirmed by a team of Canadian experts from the Royal Ontario Museum, who conducted research on the Iranian Imperial Jewels in 1965.

 

 

The Graff Pink Supreme

The pear-shaped, 10.83 carat, Internally Flawless Graff Pink Supreme diamond was auctioned by Christie's Geneva in 1993 where it was purchased by Laurence Graff of London for 6,163,500 Swiss Francs (CHF).

It is not known whether Graff still owns the stone. It is a very saturated pink stone probably with purplish in its colour grade. Nothing is known pertaining to the history of the stone other than that it is a relatively recent discovery.

 

 

 

The Hortensia

The Hortensia diamond is pentagonal-cut with a corresponding 5-side pavilion, tapering towards the culet with a crack extending from the edge of the girdle to near the culet. It weighs 20 carats, is a pale orangey-pink and is of Indian origin. The stone was listed in the inventory of the Crown Jewels of France, made in 1691. It owes its name to Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland. The diamond was among the jewels stolen from the Royal Treasury in September of 1792.

A year later, a man about to be executed disclosed that he had hidden a bag in the attic of an old house in the Halles district. The Hortensia was recovered together with a number of other jewels there. The Hortensia was mounted on the fastening of Napoleon's epaulette braid. In 1830, the diamond was stolen again, on this occasion from the Ministry of the Navy, but was quickly recovered and currently is on display in the Louvre.

 

 


 

The Pink Sun Rise

The modified heart shape, 29.78 ct., fancy pink, Internally Flawless (IF) Pink Sun Rise diamond was cut by famed diamond cutter, Sir Gabi Tolkowsky.

The diamond was unveiled at the beginning of the 21st century. Tolkowsky also cut the Centenary diamond, hence the similarity in shape between the Centenary and the Pink Sun Rise is no coincidence. He is also responsible for cutting the largest diamond in the world, the 545.67 ct. Golden Jubilee.

The Pink Sun Rise diamond is a relatively new discovery and few details are known regarding its origin, date of discovery, and original owners.

 

 

The Agra

The Agra was certified as a 28.15 ct fancy light pink, VS2 diamond, and was acquired by the SIBA Corp. of Hong Kong (who re-cut the stone to that weight from 31.41 ct) for £ 4,070,000 at a Christie's auction in 1990 making it at that time, the most expensive pink diamond in the world. The stone was part of the estate of Louis Winans.

The stone's history dates back to 1526 when it was recorded that Babur, the first Mogul Emperor wore the Agra diamond in his turban. The stone was originally recorded as being between 41 - 46 ct. in size

Eventually the diamond was reputedly smuggled to England by young military officers around 1857, in the year of the Indian Mutiny. However the Agra was apparently already in the possession of the Duke of Brunswick, who had paid the huge price of 348,600 francs for the stone.

Later in the 19th century, the Agra was reduced to just under 32 carats, to eliminate some black inclusions. More formal records indicate that Edwin Streeter purchased the Agra from Bram Hertz, with Hertz giving Streeter over £15,000 in jewels and cash in return.

Shortly after 1909 the gemstone was acquired by Louis Winans, son of a wealthy American railroad engineer. Louis Winans settled in Brighton, and used a local jeweller to help him collect some wonderful coloured diamonds. After his passing the Agra was inherited in 1927.

 

 

 

The (Graff) Pink Orchid

The marquise-cut, 22.84 ct., purplish pink, Internally Flawless (IF) clarity Pink Orchid diamond is owned by Graff Diamonds of London. It is believed the diamond was cut at the Graff workshop and set in a platinum ring. The diamond is a relatively new discovery and few details are known regarding its origin, date of discovery, and original owners.

Robert Mouawad, a collector of large and unusual diamonds has a 21.06 ct. pink diamond known as the Mouawad Pink, which he values at $12 million, and a purplish-pink diamond weighing 24.44 ct. called the Mouawad Lilac, valued at $20 million. So you could speculate the Pink Orchid might be valued in the neighbourhood of at least $12 million.

The rarity of the purplish pink colour, combined with the relatively large size of the stone ensures that the Pink Orchid should make its own history.

 

 

The Grand Condé

Le Grand Condé is a fancy pink pear cut diamond, weighing 9.01 ct. The family of the Condé princes was one of the most important branches of the French house of Bourbon. One of its best-known members, Louis II (1621-1686), was already governor of the Bourgogne region at age 17.
It's just after the battle of Rocroi that Louis XIII gave Louis II this beautiful diamond, probably in recognition of the services he had rendered. In 1886, the Duke of Aumale, direct descendant of Condé, handed the stone over to the Institut de France, in Chantilly, where it must always remain according to the terms of the bequest..