Pink Star, a flawless 59.6-carat pink diamond will be auctioned in the Swiss city of Geneva at a record asking price of $60 million, Sotheby’s auction house says.
Sotheby’s says the oval-cut stone will become the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction.
Sotheby’s David Bennett says the diamond belongs in “the ranks of the earth’s greatest natural treasures”.
Pink Star is over twice the size of the 24.78-carat “Graff Pink” diamond that set the world auction record for $46.2 million.
Pink Star diamond will be auctioned in Geneva at a record asking price of $60 million
The diamond, which was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, has received the highest possible color and clarity rating from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Pink Star weighed 132.5 carats in the rough, and was cut and polished over a period of two years by Steinmetz Diamonds, the New York-based auction house said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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 jewellery division in Europe and the Middle East.
He said it was very rare to have vivid pink diamonds weighing only five carats, “so this 59.6-carat stone is simply off any scale”.
Pink Star, which was previously known as the “Steinmetz Pink”, was sold privately in 2007 but neither the price nor the owner was disclosed.
The auction is scheduled to take place on November 13.
Sotheby’s will also auction a white diamond and a blue diamond, valued at more than $28 million and $19 million respectively, in Hong Kong in October.
Princie, one of the largest pink diamonds in the world, has been sold at Christie’s auction in New York for more than $39.3 million.
The Princie Diamond was purchased by an anonymous collector bidding by phone, Christie’s said.
The 34.65 carat diamond’s origin can be traced back to the ancient diamond mines of Golconda in southern India.
The Princie Diamond once belonged to the royal family of Hyderabad, rulers of one of the wealthiest provinces of Mughal India.
“The Princie Diamond carries a fabulous provenance, which brings together the legendary names of Golconda, [the] Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda,” said Christie’s jewellery department head Rahul Kadakia before the sale.
The Princie Diamond once belonged to the royal family of Hyderabad, rulers of one of the wealthiest provinces of Mughal India
“The most beautiful stones discovered in Golconda were always reserved for kings and rulers as they represented the highest power, which was then magically transferred to the owner.
“It was a widely regarded belief that God’s gift to India became India’s gift to mankind and the Princie is undoubtedly one of the greatest gifts of Golconda.”
The Princie Diamond was once owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad, who was proclaimed the richest man in the world by Time magazine in 1937.
The diamond had not seen in public since 1960 when Sotheby’s sold it as the “property of a gentleman”.
All four of the world’s top pink diamonds have been found at Golconda, Christie’s says. The area has the earliest known diamond mines in the world, producing the stones as early as 800BC.
In 2010 a diamond known as the Graff pink was sold in Geneva by Sotheby’s for $44 million. At the time it was believed to be the most expensive gemstone bought at auction in history.
The two largest pink diamonds – the Darya-I Nur, weighing 175 to 195 carats, and the Nur ul-Ain, weighing about 60 carats – originally formed part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.
Experts say it has since been determined that they were cut from a single pink diamond weighing 242 carats.
Christie’s says that the Princie Diamond is believed to be the third largest pink diamond in the world and was found 300 years ago in the Golconda mines.
A 12.76-carat pink diamond, found by an Australian mining company, is believed to be the largest rough pink diamond found in the country.
The rare diamond was found at Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia’s East Kimberly region.
Estimated to be worth millions, it has been named the Argyle Pink Jubilee, and is being cut and polished in Perth.
The diamond will be sold later this year after being shown around the world, including in New York and Hong Kong.
The process of polishing and cutting, which began in Perth on Tuesday, is expected to take about 10 days. The diamond will then be graded by a team of international experts.
More than 90% of the pink diamonds in the world come from the Argyle mine, a Rio Tinto statement said.
The rare pink diamond was found at Rio Tinto's Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia's East Kimberly region
The Argyle Pink Jubilee is a light pink diamond, the company said. It is similar in color to The Williamson Pink – the diamond found in Tanzania that Queen Elizabeth II received as a wedding gift and which was subsequently set into a brooch for her coronation.
A Rio Tinto spokesperson said that a diamond of this calibre was ”unprecedented”.
”It has taken 26 years of Argyle production to unearth this stone and we may never see one like this again,” said Argyle Pink Diamonds Manager Josephine Johnson.
In 2010, a rare 24.78-carat “fancy intense pink” diamond was sold for a record-breaking $46 million, the highest price ever paid for a jewel, to a well-known British dealer at an auction in Geneva.
That diamond had been in a private collection for 60 years.