Rare 34-Carat Pink Diamond Sells At Christie’s For $39 Million
A gorgeous pink diamond—weighing more than 34 carats—that once belonged to Indian royalty recently sold at Christie’s at the record-breaking price of $39.32 million. The stone, bearing a cushion cut and rare for its color, originated about 300 years ago in the Golconda mines of South-Central India and is known as “Princie.” It marks the most expensive Golconda diamond ever sold at a Christie’s action.
The diamond earned its nickname in 1960 when it was purchased at an auction held by the London branch of jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels. The firm’s Paris store held a party attended by Sayajirao Gaekwad, the 14-year-old prince of Baroda—an Indian princely state now knows as the city of Vadadora—and his mother Maharani Sita Devi. The stone was named in his honor.
Prior to the 1960 sale, the stone was owned by the royal family of Hyderabad, most specifically the last Nazim of Hyderabad who ruled one of the Mughal Empire’s wealthiest provinces. The Nazim offered it for sale as “Property of a gentleman” and Van Cleef & Arpels paid $70,158 for it—equivalent of $1.3 million today. The jeweler’s London branch has retained ownership of the diamond since 1960.
“Princie” was purchased at the Christie’s auction by an anonymous telephone bidder. The identity of the seller is also unknown.