For centuries, India's most prized diamonds have been known as the "diamonds of Golconda," and some of the most famous stones from the ancient Golconda mine include the Hope Diamond and the Koh-i-Noor Diamond.
On April 16, another famous Golconda diamond — the extraordinary “Princie” — will rock the auction world when it goes on sale at Christie’s New York. The striking 34.65-carat cushion-cut gem is the largest fancy intense pink diamond ever to be offered for sale at auction. It's expected to fetch up to $40 million.
The Magnificent Jewels auction will feature nearly 300 lots, including top-quality colored and colorless diamonds, rare gemstones, natural pearls and a selection of signed vintage jewelry, but the true headliner of the show is The Princie Diamond. The rare pink diamond was first recorded nearly 300 years ago in the holdings of the Royal family of Hyderabad, rulers of one of the wealthiest provinces of the Mughal Empire.
It is widely believed that the largest and most beautiful stones discovered in Golconda were reserved for kings and rulers, as they represented the highest power — a power that magically transferred to the owner.
The Princie Diamond was first seen at auction in 1960, when the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels scooped it up for a mere £46,000 ($69,000). That same year, Pierre Arpels christened the diamond “Princie” in honor of the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda, who was attending a Paris party with his mother, Maharani Sita Devi.
“One of the largest and finest pink diamonds in the world, The Princie Diamond carries a fabulous provenance. The rich history, combined with its rare pink hue, conveys a special charm, which will speak to all collectors in the world seeking the best of the best in gemstones,” said Francois Curiel, chairman of Christie’s jewelry department.
The auction house expects the famous pink diamond to “achieve in the region of $30 million to $40 million.”