“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” and it’s easy to see why. Diamonds last forever and they are absolutely stunning. But where do they come from? Diamonds crystallize when they are under extremely high pressures and are thus formed deep within Earth, usually more than 150km. Of course, when people dig for diamonds they don’t have to dig hundreds of km. According to the American Museum of Natural History, the movements of the Earth’s tectonic plates allows diamonds to move closer to the Earth’s surface where people can then find them.
Due to the rarity of diamonds, and their high demand, they can be quite expensive, none more so than the following you are about to see.
10. The Archduke Joseph – $21.5 Million
Measuring in at 76-carats, this large D-colour Internally Flawless diamond sold for $21.5 million at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction in November 2012. The diamond was originally discovered in the Golconda region of India, an ancient diamond mining region and home to many storied diamonds. According to Forbes, the previous owner of the diamond, Alfredo J. Molina, CEO of Black, Starr & Frost jewelers commented, “I am thrilled but not surprised that the Archduke Joseph Diamond should have fetched such a high price. I was blessed to be the Archduke’s guardian and champion for the past 13 years, and indeed it has become part of my identity”.
9. The “Perfect” Diamond – $22 Million
“This diamond is exceptional in every sense of the word” said Lisa Hubbard, chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division in the Americas. The emerald-cut, D-colour diamond sold earlier this year in April for a whopping $22 million. Sotherby’s auction in NYC stated that it is the “largest of its kind ever to be sold in auction”. Time magazine reports the 100 carat diamond was dug by De Beers in South Africa and is one of the only six perfect 100-carat diamonds to be sold at auction within the past 25 years.
8. The Perfect Pink – $23 Million
The Perfect Pink diamond measures 14.23 carats. In 2010 it sold at an auction in Hong Kong for more than $23 million ($23, 165, 968 to be exact). The diamond was only expected to sell between $14 million to $19 million, however the price continued to rise due to an intense bidding war involving 5 bidders. What makes this diamond so special? Its pink colour which makes it extremely rare.
7. The Winston Blue – $23.8 Million
The world’s largest perfect vivid blue diamond was named “The Winston Blue” by Harry Winston, a division of Swatch Group. The diamond was sold at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale in May 2014 for about $23.8 million, breaking the world record for the world’s most expensive blue diamond. The Winston Blue was the top lot of the sale, which reaped in a total of $154.1 million and broke another four world records. Other top gems included: Belle Eopoche diamond Devant-de-Corsage Brooch ($17.5 million), a 75.97 carat-pear-shaped D colour flawless diamond ($14.4 million) and a 76.51-carat cut-cornered square-cut light pink VVS1 diamond necklace ($10 million).
6. The 118.28-Carat Oval – $30.6 Million
This 118.28-carat oval egg sized diamond is the largest diamond ever to be sold in auction. It was bought for $30.6 million at Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong, in October 2013. According to Forbes, David Bennet, chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division for Europe and the Middle East, commented “it’s not easy to get hold of a flawless diamond the size of an egg. There are very few stones of that size, colour and purity. It’s extremely rare”.
5. The Orange – $35.5 Million
This breathtaking 14.82 carat orange diamond sold at Christie Geneva’s Magnificent Jewels sale for $35.5 million in November 2013. The diamond, expecting to bring in $21 million, broke the world record for price per carat for any coloured diamond sold at auction. According to Forbes, François Curiel, International head of Christie’s Jewelry Department stated, “the 14.82-carat orange diamond is one such a stone, a rare gem, which will perhaps only be seen once in a lifetime. In the sale on Tuesday, it soared far above all previous records for any orange diamond ever sold at auction, placing the Orange among the greatest pinks and blues, which are traditionally the most appreciated colored diamonds.”
4. The Princie – $40 Million
The 300-year-old, 34.65-carat pink Princie Diamond sold in 2013 for $40 million by Christie’s auction house in New York. Interestingly, the gem is the cause of a big family feud. In March 2015, Amedeo Angiolillo, an Italian millionaire, sued Christie’s, claiming that his beloved diamond had been stolen by “a backstabbing step-sibling” who had to right to sell the diamond. The diamond was originally mined in India and passed from generation to generation until being bought by Angiolillo’s father, Renato, who gave the diamond to his second wife, Maria Girani. Girani held the diamond in her possession until her death. When Angiolillo attempted to repossess the diamond, he discovered that Girani’s son, Marco Biachi Lilella had taken it.
3. The Graff Vivid Pink – $46 Million
The stunning ring you see before you is made with the 24.78-carat Graff Pink Diamond. The rectangular diamond was bought for $46 million in 2010 by “the King of Bling”, British billionaire, Laurence Graff. According to Daily Mail, Mr. Graff bought the ring for himself, stating “It is the most fabulous diamond I’ve seen in the history of my career and I’m delighted to have bought it”. Mr. Graff is certainly a connoisseur of fine jewelry. After all, despite his being a high school drop out and starting out as a janitor, he has become “the world’s leading dealer of diamonds and gems”.
2. The Wittelsbach-Graff – $80 Million
The 31-carat deep-blue flawless diamond was bought by Laurence Graff, founder of Graff Diamonds, in 2088 for $23.4 million. Today the stone’s value has increased to an incredible $80 million after being sold to the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Chalifa in 2011. According to Observer, blue diamonds are the second rarest coloured stones in the world, right behind red diamonds.
1. The Pink Star – $72 Million
The 59.60-carat Pink Star diamond was purchased at Sotheby’s November 2014 auction in Geneva for $83.02 million, by Isaac Wolf, a New York-based diamond cutter. He had outbid three rivals in order to secure the diamond. However, it turns out Wolf was unable to pay for the diamond. Sotheby’s thus bought back the pink gem. Sotheby has recorded the diamond’s value at about $72 million. According to CNBC, Patrick McClymont, Sotheby’s CFO stated “we are quite comfortable with our evaluation, and see real value in owning the diamond at this price”.