Sold for a smashing $58 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on 7 October, after 20 minutes of hectic bidding, this Fancy Vivid Internally Flawless Pink confirms the high estimates for Fancy Vivid Internally Flawless Pink Diamonds.
The “Pink Diamond” Denomination
The Williamson Pink Star has its colour denomination in the name. But where does the “pink” word come from?
During the Renaissance, artists began to describe the pink shade as a blend of red and white and used it for the undertone of figures in their works.
It was not until the 17th century when “pink” entered the English language. And it was only in the 18th century that it became favoured by the European bourgeoisie. The subtle yet distinctive shade made it a colour that became synonym with novelty, elegance and splendour.
Pink Diamonds’ Rarity
Pink diamonds are extremely rare in nature. Of all the diamonds submitted to the G.I.A., less than 3% are classified as coloured diamonds, and less than 5% of those are considered predominantly pink.
Therefore, most pink diamonds fall into the ranges of Faint Pink to Fancy Pink. Additionally, only a few have an intense face-up colour described as Fancy Vivid Pink, and those are often small in size.
Because of this, for a Fancy Vivid Pink diamond to weigh over 10 carats is exceptional. For instance, in 2018, the GIA selected a sample of 1,000 pink diamonds from their database of coloured diamonds graded between 2008 and 2016. They found that 83% weighed less than 1 carat.
“…The Williamson Pink Star diamond, is among the rarest of all gemstones… Attaining a Fancy Vivid color grade with pink diamonds in this size requires a very strong inherent bodycolor in the rough crystal. It is unusual for pink diamonds to occur with a strong depth of color or saturation in any size…In addition to its exceptional color, the clarity is Internally Flawless – a special combination. Examples such as this are some of the rarest gems ever discovered.”EXCERPT FROM THE GIA LETTER
Pink Diamonds’ Colour
Adding to the mystery, the exact cause of colour in pink diamonds is still not fully scientifically understood. There is no evidence that the colour is due to a specific trace element. For yellow diamonds it is nitrogen, or boron in blue diamonds.
Early researches suggested that manganese might be responsible for the pink hue, but after further investigation, that was ruled out. The best explanation available today is that the colour is a result of distress in the atomic level.
Famous Pink Diamonds
The Williamson mine was originally discovered in 1940 by Dr John Williamson. He was a Canadian geologist, and it was a mine that was famous for producing fine ‘bubblegum’ pink diamonds. The most famous example from this mine is the Williamson Pink Diamond, belonging to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Williamson Pink Star weighs 11.15 carats and has internally flawless clarity. It is only the second internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond weighing over 10 carats to be offered at auction. The first one was the CTF Pink Star, sold by Sotheby’s in 2017, that continues to hold the world auction record for any jewel.
Throughout its journey from a rough of 32.32 carats to a polished stone of 11.15 carats, cut and polished by master cutters from Diacore, the Williamson Pink Star has been greatly lauded for its rarity and beauty. This unique gem will hold its place in the jewellery history books as one of the most beautiful diamonds in the world.