A rare Russian pink diamond, named ‘The Spirit of the Rose’, was auctioned recently at the Sotheby’s Geneva sale. The diamond was sold for $26.6 million, one of the highest amounts fetched by a diamond. Apart from the rare colour, a vivid purple-pink, the diamond weighed 14.83 carats.

The name of the gem, ‘The Spirit of the Rose’, comes from the title of the most popular ballet performance by the Ballets Russes. The Ballets Russes brought fame and respect to Russian dancers and choreographers from across the world. It is regarded as one of the most influential ballet company of the 20th century.

Unearthed by Russian miner Alrosa in 2017, one of the world’s leading diamond producers, ‘The Spirit of the Rose’ was cut from the largest pink crystal ever mined in Russia. The rough stone weighed 27.85-carat and was called the “Nijinsky”, after the legendary Ballets Russes dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky. The stone is widely being called ‘a wonder of nature’.

Gary Schuler, Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division, explains, “The occurrence of pink diamonds in nature is extremely rare in any size. Only one per cent of all pink diamonds are larger than 10-carats and only four per cent of all pink diamonds are graded ‘Fancy Vivid’ and display a rich, vivid colour.

The appeal for pink diamonds has gained momentum over the years. First mined in the 17th century, pink diamonds have been found in Brazil, South Africa, Tanzania, Canada, Australia and now, even in Russia. Until recently, 80 per cent of the world’s pink diamonds originated from the Argyle mine in Kimberley, Western Australia. With the closing of the Argyle mine, the future of pink diamonds is uncertain.

Gary Schuler adds, “Having the opportunity to offer a large polished pink diamond of over 10-carats and with the richness of colour and purity of The Spirit of the Rose is therefore truly exceptional.”

Read about how a London-based company is using blockchain to identify where diamonds come from.

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