Pink Diamond $39M: Top 5 Most Valuable Gems Ever Sold

By iScienceTimes Staff on April 19, 2013 11:37 AM EDT

pink diamond
The Graff Pink Diamond, the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction, went for $45 million in 2010. The pink diamond which sold on Tuesday in New York City raked in $39 million (Photo: Reuters/Valentin Flauraud)

A rare pink diamond sold for $39 million at an auction in New York City on Tuesday. AP reports that the rare pink diamond, nicknamed Princie Diamond for the 14-year-old prince of Baroda who attended the pink diamond auctioning party in 1960, sold for the second highest price for a rock ever.

An anonymous collector bidding by phone purchased the whopping 34.65 carat pink diamond for $39 million - about $1.1 million per carat - through Christie's, a fine jewelry and art dealer with locations in 32 countries.

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The pink diamond is over 300 years old and was discovered in the Golconda mines in India. Forbes reports that the Type IIa diamond, which is considered the most chemically pure kind of diamond, first belonged to the Royal family of Hyderabad who ruled one of the wealthiest provinces of the Mughal Empire. Mughal emperors were direct descendants of Genghis Kahn and ruled the Indian subcontinent from around 1526 to 1757.

It later went to auction in London in 1960, where it was given the informal title of Princie Diamond.

According to Forbes, the sale of the rare pink Princie Diamond set two records: one for most valuable diamond to come out of the Golconda mines in South Central India, which also famously forged the Hope Diamond; and two, it surpassed Christie's previous record sale in 2008 when the Wittelsbach Diamond sold for $24.3 million

Here are five of the most valuable gems ever sold:

1. The Sun-Drop Diamond

The world's largest known yellow diamond, the pear-shaped, 110.3 carat Sun-Drop Diamond sold for $10.65 million in Geneva in 2011 by an anonymous telephone bidder. AP reports that the diamond was rated as "fancy vivid yellow," which is the highest possible color grading for a diamond. BBC reports that the color comes from the nitrogen trapped within carbon molecules which solidify over millions of years. The diamond was discovered in South Africa in 2010.

2. The Beau Sancy Diamond

The 34.98 carat Beau Sancy Diamond, which had passed through royal hands in France, England, Prussia and the Netherlands, sold for $9.7 million at Sotheby's auction in Geneva, Switzerland, in May 2012. Guardian reports that the gem was set into a crown after the coronation of French king Henri IV's wife, Marie de Medicis. It then traveled Europe for 400 years atop various royal heads.

3. The Graff Pink Diamond

The most expensive rock ever purchased, the Graff Pink Diamond raked in over $45 million in 2010. Bloomberg reports that the American jeweler Harry Winston bought the diamond 60 years ago and had not been seen on the market since.

4. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond

Also out of South Africa, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond weighs 287.42 carats and was purchased by Charles Tiffany in in 1879 for $18,000.

5. The Portuguese Diamond

According to the Smithsonian, the Portuguese Diamond, a 127 carat diamond, was found in 1910 a South African mine. Harry Winston acquired the gem in 1951, and later traded it to the Smithsonian in exchange for 2,400 carats of smaller diamonds.

Read more from iScience Times:

$50 Million Diamond Heist; Brussels Cargo Plane Looted In Under Five Minutes

Diamond Found In Mud Worth Thousands: What Would You Do With It? [POLL]

Russian Crater Diamonds Worth $1 Quadrillion

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