The Spirit of the Rose diamond.
Colored diamonds, formed by impurities such as boron or nitrogen, are the most expensive and rarest, with pink and red stones fetching the highest prices. The Spirit of the Rose may be one of the most expensive pink stones ever, according to Eden Rachminov, the chairman of the board of the Fancy Color Research Foundation.
He estimates the potential price at between $60 million to $65 million.
Sotheby’s set the record for any gem ever sold at an auction in 2017, with its $71 million sale of the 59.6-carat Pink Star to Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group The stone was mined by De Beers, and dethroned the Oppenheimer Blue, which fetched $58 million in an earlier sale at Christie’s.
Kozenko declined to comment on how much Alrosa hopes to raise from the sale, but said that The Spirit of the Rose will be the most expensive stone ever polished in Russia. The company is still considering how to conduct the sale, with a decision expected next month, she said.
It’s a good time for a sale, as pink stones are about to get even rarer after Rio Tinto Group confirmed earlier this year that it was shutting its giant Argyle operation in Australia. The mine produces about 90% of the world’s pink gems.
Alrosa found the 27.85-carat rough stone at its alluvial mines in Russia’s Far East in 2017 and named it Nijinsky, after ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. The preparation and cutting process, which took a full year, was done at Alrosa’s cutting factory in Moscow.
The Spirit of the Rose was named for the ballet Le Spectre de la Rose, staged by the Ballets Russes company, which premiered in 1911 and in which Nijinsky was a star.