A 14.83-carat pink oval diamond found and polished by Russia’s Alrosa (MCX:ALRS) could fetch up to $65 million when it goes up for sale in November.
The “fancy, vivid” purple-pink stone, cut from a rough found in 2017 at the Ebelyakh deposit in Yakutia, is the largest of its kind ever found in Russia. Before the diamond, named The Spirit of the Rose, was mined, the company’s biggest pink gem had weighed 3.86 carats.
In the last year, Alrosa has worked on boosting revenue from selling rare, coloured diamonds where demand is stable, although it is a niche business.
According to market analysts, the average price for pink, yellow, blue and green stones has risen consistently by 12% a year over the last few decades, driven by consumer demand for the exotic and unusual. This means they are less affected by other factors driving general diamonds’ supply and demand.
Currently, the global market for polished coloured diamonds is dominated by Rio Tinto and Anglo American’s De Beers. But state-controlled Alrosa aims to compete.
“The diamonds we are now exhibiting are completely unique, and each of them perfectly embodies the Russian art of gem cutting,” Alrosa’s chief executive Yury Okoyemov said earlier this year. “We calculate that the huge potential of our coloured diamonds will very soon enable Alrosa to become the world’s leader in that market.”
According to Eden Rachminov, chairman of the board of the Fancy Color Research Foundation, the Spirit of the Rose may be one of the most expensive pink diamonds ever. He estimates it could fetch between $60 million and $65 million.
Coloured diamonds, especially pink ones, have been lately achieving top prices. Sotheby’s set the record for any gem ever sold at an auction in 2017, with its $71.2 million sale of the 59.6-carat Pink Star to Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group.
Until then, the most expensive coloured diamond ever sold at auction was the “Oppenheimer Blue,” which fetched 56.8 million Swiss francs (about $58 million) in May 2016.
The Spirit of the Rose was named after Russian ballet of the same name (Le Spectre de la Rose), which premiered in 1911.