Alrosa, the Russian diamond mining and marketing giant, has named the largest pink diamond ever discovered and produced in Russia, “Spirit of the Rose,” after a legendary short ballet of the same name.
The gem was created from a 27.85-carat clear pink rough diamond unearthed two years ago from the Alrosa-owned Ebelyakh mine in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in northeast Russia. The rough was then cut and polished for a year at the “Diamonds of Alrosa” cutting factory in Moscow. The completed diamond was unveiled in February. It has several qualities that make it both rare and with the potential to be extremely valuable.
At 14.83 carats, it is one of approximately 10 known pink diamonds ever offered for sale that exceeded 10 carats during the past 10 years. The Gemological Institute of America, a non-profit research and education center for the gem and jewelry industry that specializes in gem grading, defined it as “Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink” and noted that it is the largest such diamond it has ever graded. It was also revealed to be internally flawless with excellent polish and very good symmetry, according to the GIA report.
“In the world of colored diamonds, pink diamonds are some of the most treasured, especially at larger sizes,” John King, GIA chief quality officer, said in a statement. “It’s unusual to see pink diamonds in the market over one carat today. Weighing more than 14 carats is exceptional. The color is an amazing specimen. Being also internally flawless makes it truly a unique stone.”
This diamond also has the benefit of being one of the most sought after colors in the market today. Pink diamonds (along with blue diamonds) are achieving the highest prices at auction. Most in the jewelry and diamond industry believe this demand will continue — particularly for pinks, since Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia, which produces more than 90% of the world’s pink diamonds, is expected to close as early as 2020.
With the Australian resource nearing its end, Alrosa wants to meet this demand for rare colored diamonds, a spokesperson for the Russian miner said in the April issue of Rapaport Magazine. At least two of its projects in Russia are producing colored diamonds, including pinks, and the company says it could potentially satisfy up to 30% of the colored-diamond market.
Alrosa will not provide a value for the pink diamond. However, fancy colored diamond specialist, Eden Rachminov, chairman of the Fancy Color Research Foundation, who has seen and held the diamond, estimates its value to be more than $60 million.
This would place it in rarefied company. The highest price for a diamond ever achieved at auction was for the CTF Pink Star: a 59.6-carat oval-shaped internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond that fetched $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2017.
The only other gem to come close to this figure was the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” the largest fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction, which sold for more than $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale.
A spokesperson for Alrosa said the company will reveal how it plans to sell the diamond in September.
As mentioned previously, the diamond was named after the famous short ballet, “Le Spectre de la rose” (The Spirit of the Rose), staged by the Ballet Russes company produced Sergei Diaghilev, premiered on April 19th, 1911 at the famous Théâtre de Monte-Carlo. The ballet was just 10 minutes long, but featured dancers Tamara Karsavina and Vaslav Nijinsky, two of the biggest stars of the Ballet Russes at the time.
The idea for the ballet was based on a poem by French romantic poet, Theofile Gautier. The poem’s title character is the ghost of a souvenir rose, pinned to a young girl’s ball gown. For more than 100 years, this ballet has been performed on the some of the world’s best known stages, including the Metropolitan Opera, London Coliseum, Royal Danish Theatre, and the Mariinsky and Bolshoi theatres.