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Pink Diamonds - Rare and Beautiful

Updated on April 26, 2011

Natural Pink Diamonds

Natural pink diamonds, known as “fancy pink” diamonds, are among the rarest and most valuable diamonds in the world. For several decades, fancy pink diamonds were found only in ritzy jewelry stores, and were reserved for purchase by the wealthy. The popularity of the pink diamond soared when, in 2002, actor Ben Affleck, proposed to his then girlfriend, actress and musician Jennifer Lopez with a huge 6 carat fancy vivid pink diamond.

How do natural pink diamonds get their color?

There are two types of naturally occurring pinks diamonds, categorized as type 1a and type 2a diamonds:

  1. Type 1a: The type 1a pink diamond gets its color from the presence of nitrogen impurities within its structure. This type of pink diamond is the more popular of the two types of naturally occurring pink diamonds.
  2. Type 2a: Like the fancy red diamond, the type 2a pink diamond gets its color from the plastic deformation of the lattice structure which occurs during the formation of the diamond as it is subjected to intense heat and pressure several kilometers beneath the earth’s surface. This type of diamond has only trace amounts of nitrogen. Type 2a diamonds are extremely rare, and hence even more valuable than type 1a diamonds.

Where are pink diamonds found?

The Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia is the world’s most reliable source of pink diamonds. It produces 90- 95% of all the pink diamonds found today. While pink diamonds can also be found in India, South Africa and Brazil, the Argyle Mine produces pink diamonds that are superior in quality to those found anywhere else in the world.

What determines the value of a pink diamond?

Professional diamond grading laboratories have the necessary conditions to differentiate and grade colored diamonds and to identify them as natural, processed, artificially treated or synthetic.

Natural pink diamonds are primarily divided into five color categories:

  • Pink
  • Purplish pink
  • Brownish pink
  • Orangey pink
  • Pink champagne

One will notice that the more rare and expensive the pink diamond is, the closer to red it will be in color. The value of the pink diamond is therefore determined by its intensity, as categorized by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Pink diamond grading
Pink diamond grading
Steinmetz Pink Diamond
Steinmetz Pink Diamond
The Sea of Light (Darya-i-Nur)
The Sea of Light (Darya-i-Nur)
Williamson Pink diamond set in Queen Elizabeth's brooch
Williamson Pink diamond set in Queen Elizabeth's brooch

Famous pink diamonds

Steinmetz Pink Diamond

The Steinmetz pink diamond weighs 59.6 carats. It is the largest pink diamond in the world to be rated as Vivid Pink. Found in South Africa, this diamond has been termed “internally flawless” by the Gemological Institute of America. On May 29th 2003, this extraordinary diamond was displayed to the public in Monaco. The present owner of the rare Steinmetz Pink Diamond is the Steinmetz Group.

The Sea of Light (Darya-i-Nur)

The Darya-i-Nur is the largest known pink diamond. It is described as a rose colored diamond of at least 128 carats. This lovely gem was part of the crown jewels of India, until 1739 when it was taken by the invading Persian army- it was taken to Iran, where it can still be found today.

Williamson Pink diamond

The Williamson Pink diamond was found in 1940. Presently 23 carats, this diamond was cut from a 54 carat piece of rough diamond, and was set in a brooch that was given to Queen Elizabeth as a wedding present in 1947. In 1952, it was reset in the center of another flower shaped brooch designed by Frederick Mew of Cartier.

The Graff Pink diamond
The Graff Pink diamond

The Highest auctioned pink diamond to date

The Graff Pink

The Graff Pink is not only the highest auctioned pink diamond to date, but is the most expensive stone ever auctioned in history. Weighing 24.78 Carats, the Graff Pink was sold by Sotheby’s for $46,158,674. This fancy intense pink diamond was purchased by Laurence Graff, a British diamond dealer. It was set in a platinum ring with shield- shaped white diamonds on either side at the time of purchase. Shortly after it was sold to him, Mr. Graff named the gem, "The Graff Pink."

The Graff Pink was assessed by the Gemological Institute of America as type 2a- only 2% of the world’s gems possess this esteemed classification. Due to the scarcity of fine pink diamonds exceeding 20 carats in size, the Graff Pink is considered a true winner in the world of diamonds.

Information on fancy colored diamonds, red diamonds and green diamonds can be found at hubpages.


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    • gis_r07 profile image

      gis_r07 6 years ago from Boston, MA

      Thanks Eric. The Steinmetz pink is my favorite. I have seen some great photos of that one.

    • Eric Prado profile image

      Eric Prado 6 years ago from Webster, Texas

      Great hub. Very beautiful stones indeed. =)