The Princie Diamond, one of the largest pink diamonds in the world, is expected to fetch a world record price when it goes to auction Tuesday.
The gemstone, which will be sold off at Christie’s in New York, is widely tipped to sell for more than $45 million. Such a sale would beat the previous record of $44 million, set in 2010.
The 34.65 carat Princie Diamond has a long history that can be traced back to the ancient diamond mines of Golconda in southern India. Former owners have incliuded the royal family of Hyderabad, who previously ruled one of the wealthiest provinces of Mughal India. Christie’s jewellery department head Rahul Kadakia says:
“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.
“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.”
Golconda has the earliest known diamond mines in the world, with stones having been mined at the site since 800BC. All four of the world’s top pink diamonds have been found at Golconda.
The Princie Diamond has been under wraps for some time. The rare rock was last seen in public in 1960, when Sotheby’s sold it as the “property of a gentleman.”
The current record for a pink diamond sale is held by a gemstone known as the Graff pink. It was sold in Geneva by Sotheby’s for $44m.
The world’s two largest pink diamonds, the Darya-I Nur, weighing 175 to 195 carats, and the Nur ul-Ain, weighing about 60 carats, are part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.