In September a subsidiary of Russian diamond mining company, Alrosa, announced that it had recovered a large pink rough diamond weighing 27.85 carats, making it by far the largest pink rough diamond ever discovered by the company. It is of gem quality and almost free of inclusions. Coloured diamonds weighing over ten carats are extremely rare and are recovered about once a year by the company. Until the most recent discovery, the largest pink diamond Alrosa had unearthed weighed 3.86 carats and was recovered in 2012. Over the past eight years Alrosa has only recovered three pink diamonds weighing over two carats.
Although pink diamonds are among the rarest stones in the world, this latest recovery is far from being the biggest pink diamond ever recovered.
The largest pink diamond in the world, at around 186 carats, is the Darya-i-Nur, (‘river of light’) diamond. It was originally from India but is now part of Iran’s Imperial Crown Jewels Collection, having been seized by the Persians from the Mogul Emperor of India in 1739.
The Nur-Ul-Ain (‘light of the eye’), an oval brilliant-cut 60 carat pale pink diamond is also part of Iran’s Imperial Crown Jewels Collection. The Nur-Ul-Ain and the Darya-i-Nur are believed to have been cut from the same rare, pale pink, enormous, 400-carat diamond, referred to as 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.
The most expensive diamond ever sold at auction is the Pink Star, a diamond originally mined here in South Africa in 1999 as a 132.5 carat rough by De Beers. It was cut by the Steinmetz Diamond Company over a two-year period and was formerly known as the “Steinmetz Pink.” It is a modified oval, internally flawless, brilliant cut, and is the largest known fancy vivid pink diamond at 59.60 carats. Itt was sold to jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook in April 2017 for USD63 million.