Pink Star Diamond

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

December 5, 2019

The Pink Star Diamond is a natural colored 59.60-carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond. It is one of the greatest treasures in the world. So it may come as no surprise it went over the counter for a whopping 71.2 million USD. Pink diamonds are quite rare in general. But what makes the Pink Star Diamond so beloved and so immensely valuable?

History of the Pink Star Diamond

Many famous diamonds have a long and intriguing history that is often centuries old. But the Pink Star Diamond is fairly new. This year, it celebrates its 20th birthday. De Beers mined the Pink Star in 1999 in one of their mines in South Africa. When found, the rough diamond weighed 132.5 carat. But the size wasn’t the only thing that made it such an extraordinary discovery. It was the remarkable color that captured the heart. The so-called Fancy Vivid Pink is a very rare color, let alone in a diamond of this size.

Cutting the Pink Star Diamond

Steinmetz Diamonds bought the rough stone from De Beers. They decided a diamond this rare needed a special cut. Steinmetz took no less than 8 polishers and 20 months to cut the pink diamond. Even for rare diamonds, this is a very long time. Considering it takes one polisher about 8 hours to polish a one-carat diamond. But the result is also impressive. The final product weighs 59.60 carats. It has an internally flawless clarity grade and was laved as fancy vivid pink with the highest color grade.

ring with the pink star diamond

A name-changing pink diamond

Steinmetz polished the diamond into a “Mixed Oval Brilliant”. A combination between a brilliant and an oval is not that uncommon. But instead of regular facets, they polished a step cut crown and a brilliant cut pavilion. You may recognize step cut facets from emerald cut diamonds and Asscher cut diamonds. The combination of the cut and the facets makes it look like there is a star shape inside the stone.

The Steinmetz Pink

In May 2003, Steinmetz unveiled the precious Pink Star Diamond in Monaco in a public ceremony. They displayed it under the name “The Steinmetz Pink”. In Monaco, the diamond was part of the Smithsonian’s “The Splendor of Diamonds” exhibition. The pink diamond shined next to other impressive stones, like the Pumpkin Diamond, The Ocean Dream, The Moussaieff Red, the Alnatt Diamond, and the Millennium Star.

The Pink Star

Steinmetz sold the Pink Diamond in 2007 for an undisclosed sum to an anonymous buyer. This private sale resulted in a renaming of the diamond to “The Pink Star”. The new owner then entrusted the diamond to the Sotheby’s as to be sold at the November 13, 2013 auction.

The Pink Dream?

The famous diamond polisher Isaac Wolf from New York wanted to buy the Pink Star Diamond. He would rename it “The Pink Dream”. The diamond would cost him over 83 million dollar. The diamond and auction world went wild! This sale would break all world records for any gemstone. But the auction price was not settled by the buyer. And the stone went back to Sotheby’s inventory.

CTF Pink Star

On April 4, 2017, Sotheby’s put the vivid pink diamond on auction again. This time, the auction took place in Hong Kong. But now, the diamond actually got sold. Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, chairman of the jeweler Chow Tai Fook bought the remarkable stone for HK$553 million. This equals no less than 71.2 million US dollars. Dr. Henry named renamed the Pink Star Diamond to “CTF Pink Star” in memory of his father, the late Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung.

female hand with pink star diamond

About pink diamonds

Pink diamonds are extremely rare. Only 0.0001% of the diamonds in existence are pink. It is a gemstone that would give beauty and harmony to the world. Just like white diamonds, pink diamonds can range from flawless to (heavily) included. The Pink Star is the only pink diamond in the world that is completely flawless.

Fancy colored diamonds

The color pink is in the category of “fancy colored diamonds”. Fancy is the generic name for all diamonds that exhibit any sort of color. When a diamond has a color that is outside the D-to-Z grading spectrum, that means something has happened to the diamond. This can be during its formation or during surfacing. The specific thing that happened to the diamond determines its color. For most diamonds, we know what happened with it to become a colored one.

  • Red diamonds: caused by changes to the electron structure during the diamond’s voyage to the surface.
  • Orange diamonds: nitrogen atoms slip inside while the diamond is forming. When the particles are arranged in a specific way, they absorb blue and some yellow light, creating an orange appearance.
  • Yellow diamonds: nitrogen atoms take the place of certain carbon particles during the formation process. Only vivid-colored diamonds are called fancy yellow. Otherwise, they are inside the D-to-Z grading spectrum.
  • Green diamonds: natural radiation from nearby rocks trap electrons to a green color. But only on the outer layer. So when polishing a green diamond, the color can get lost. However, some diamonds are green because the carbon contains traces of nickel.
  • Blue diamonds: a combination of boron and small pieces of nitrogen give the diamond a blue color. But also nickel or high concentrations of hydrogen can make a diamond blue.
  • Purple diamonds: formed due to post-growth plastic deformation while surfacing the earth via magma.

pink brilliant cut diamond in pink rose

So how are pink diamonds formed?

While we know for most colors how they are formed, it is still a bit hazy for pink colored diamonds. One of the theories as to how they are formed is that the diamond underwent extreme pressure during its formation. Another theory is that a seismic shock altered the color of the diamonds as they surfaced the earth. Most scientists believe that the color in a pink diamond is caused by color centers. “Color centers can selectively absorb light in the visible region of the spectrum. They are the result of lattice defects or imperfections in the arrangement of the atoms in a crystal” (Source: GIA). In other words: while the stones are still embedded in the earth’s crust, the combination of intense heat and pressure distorts the crystal lattice. That is how the lattice can absorb a particular band of green light rays.

Color enhancement

Since colored diamonds are so beloved, some companies are specialized in enhancing the color of a natural diamond. This means the colored diamond is real, but the color is not due to natural causes. Usually, enhanced colored diamonds start out as nearly colorless diamonds. They undergo a color enhancement process, using irradiation or High Temperature, High pressure (HPHT). Naturally, artificially colored diamonds are less valuable than naturally colored diamonds. However, it can be difficult to see the difference. Fortunately, the diamond certificate will tell you if the color of the stone is natural or artificial.

Color of the Pink Star Diamond

There’s no doubt that a natural pink color for a diamond is something really special. The Pink Star Diamond with its vivid color is already special on its own. But what makes it even more remarkable, is that the GIA researchers were not able to determine the origin of this diamond’s pink color. This makes the diamond even more mysterious than it already is.

Looking for a pink diamond?

Pink diamonds stand for femininity. It has the meaning and properties of enhancing creativity and it is believed it will increase the owner’s aesthetic sense. As you know, pink diamonds are very rare. There is only one Pink Star Diamond. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only pink diamond in the world. At Royal Coster Diamonds, we have the largest collection of diamonds in Europe. In this collection, we also have a few (natural) pink diamonds, like this pink pear diamond ring.

female hand with pink pear diamond ring from coster

Are you looking for a pink diamond or pink diamond jewelry? Contact a diamond consultant now and they will get back to you with a personalized offer.

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