November 12, 2020

Exceptional 14.83ct Pink Diamond Sold At Sothebys for $26m

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With the imminent closure of the Argyle Mine, the demand, and therefore, prices for pink diamonds are set to increase substantially. Prices have soared 116% between 2010-2019. The Spirit of the Rose is the largest Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink diamond ever sold at auction, with the results reflecting that. On 11th November Sotheby's, sold the spectacular Internally Flawless, Type IIa diamond for a record-breaking £20.2 million.

The history of The Spirit of the Rose

"A rare 27.85 carats clear pink rough diamond was unearthed on October 9, 2017 from the Ebelyakh deposit in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in northeast Russia."

Spirit of the Rose Rough

Image courtesy of Alrosa

Originally named Nijinsky, the 27.85 carat rough was discovered by mining company, Alrosa, and was the diamond discovery of the year. The rose petal pink colour and near perfect clarity made this discovery a hot topic, pink diamonds of this size and quality are rare: 99% of pink diamonds are all under 10 carats.

Pink diamonds were first discovered in the Golconda region of India in the 17th century and were written about by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a famous merchant of the time. Since then, pink diamonds have been found in Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Australia and Russia.

Today, the main consistent source of pink diamonds is the Argyle Mine in the Northern Territories of Australia nevertheless, the yearly output of pink or red diamonds is small enough to fit into the palm of a hand.

Spirit of the Roose

Image courtesy of Alrosa

Because of the way pink diamonds are formed they hold a lot of internal stress. On an atomic level, the crystal lattice of a diamond is altered under tectonic forces. This alters the way light waves interact with the crystal lattice; causing pink wavelengths to be reflected and other wavelengths to be absorbed. This process is called structural deformation.

The vast amount of internal stress of pink diamonds makes them notoriously difficult to cut, therefore a lot of time and care is taken when planning how to cut a rough diamond. The Nijinksy rough diamond took over a year to cut by master cutters, finally becoming the faceted gem "The Spirit of the Rose".

The diamond was so called after a Ballet Russes production "The Spirit of the Rose". The Ballet Russes showed the western world the exceptional talent of Russian ballet dancers, and proceeded to raise the bar for male dancers. The Spirit of the Rose was inspired by the verse of a poem, written by the 19th century French poet Theophile Gautier. The male dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky, with Tamara Karsavina made the ballet the best selling production ever by the Ballet Russes. The Spirit of the Rose was Nijinsky's last performance on stage.

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