As they say, diamonds are forever. These spectacular gems have fascinated humankind since eternity. Sometimes it is their ethereal beauty, sometimes their worth, sometimes their intriguing backstories. And sometimes, all three. We are talking about the most expensive diamond ever sold, the Pink Star Diamond.
It's rated as a ‘rare fancy vivid' pink diamond, a title given to only the choicest of gems. And if that wasn’t shocking enough, in 2022, it became the most expensive diamond ever to be auctioned. With a whopping price tag of $21 million (that’s over ₹160 crore!), it's a gem that can leave anyone in awe.
Described as “a total freak of nature” by the Vice President of GIA, the Pink Star is almost the size of a strawberry. In 1953, its sheer beauty was further enhanced when it was mounted as a floral brooch by designer Frederick Mew of Cartier.
The Story of the Pink Star diamond
Originally known as the Williamson Pink Star (named after its owner), this diamond was unravelled in the Mwadui mine in Tanzania in 1999. The discovery of a pink diamond, in itself, is considered an extremely rare occurrence. Most of these diamonds are extracted from Australia’s Argyle mine. So, finding pink diamonds anywhere else was considered extremely improbable, until the discovery of the Pink Star.
The diamond has always been the apple of the eyes of private collectors, royals, celebrities, and diamond connoisseurs in general. So, its auction history of the Pink Star has only reiterated its unparalleled value.
In every high-stakes auction, every gem has its day. For the Pink Star, that day came in 2022. When the gavel finally came down, the Williamson Pink Star had set a new world record. A winning bid of $49.9 million (over ₹400 crore)! The identity of its buyer is kept in secrecy, a common trait in such high-profile acquisitions.
However, this wasn’t the first time the Pink Star shattered bidding records. Earlier in April 2017, Sotheby’s presented it at a Hong Kong auction. It fetched a staggering $71.2 million, making it the single most expensive diamond or jewel ever sold at an auction.
There is a minuscule chance in millions that a diamond would be coloured, and an even rarer occurrence that it might turn out to be pink. The diamond in question, is of an even rarer breed; it is the purest pink diamond in the world. One thing is certain, it’ll remain a coveted piece for generations to come.
It was originally a 132.5 carat rough diamond that was diligently cut and polished to a flawless vivid pink diamond. Its colour is a serene shade of pink; delicate and soft. The reason why diamonds turn pink is unknown but a diamond’s colour is generally attributed to impurities in its atomic structure. It's no surprise that most of the rarest and exorbitant diamonds in the world are pink coloured diamonds.
One of many admirers of the Pink Star was Queen Elizabeth herself, who owned this gem for a brief period of its lifespan. She wore it on many occasions, including her silver jubilee.