The Power of Pink: Why we can’t shake the eternal allure of pink diamonds

13 February 2024

The Power of Pink: Why we can’t shake the eternal allure of pink diamonds

13 February 2024
With shades from palest petal through to bubble gum, fuchsia and rose, pink diamonds have captivated us for centuries, says Kim Parker. 

Kim Parker is a writer, journalist and Executive Fashion and Jewellery Director at Harpers Bazaar.
 
Ever since diamonds were first discovered in India around the 4th century B.C, their scarcity, sparkle and unparalleled strength (the word ‘diamond’ is derived from the Greek ‘adamas’, meaning ‘indestructible’) has meant they are historically regarded above all other gemstones, the preserve of royalty, nobility and the very powerful.  

Colourful or ‘fancy’ diamonds are even rarer than their neutral relatives (only one in 10,000 natural diamonds is graded a fancy stone) making them some of the most precious of all the earth’s resources. And amongst the most exclusive of these are the pinks, which can be up 20 times more expensive than their colourless equivalents. 

Haute Joaillerie collection ring by Chopard in 18k white and rose gold set with a pear-shaped, 2.4 carat fancy pink diamond and white diamonds, price on request.
Courtesy of Chopard.com.

“They are a true gemological treasure, accounting for only 0.1% of the 20 million carats of diamonds that are mined each year, and the majority of these are under two carats in size,” says Jean Ghika, global director of jewellery at Bonhams. While pink diamonds can be found in regions of Africa and Russia, the recent closure of one of the most prolific sources of the stones - the Argyle mine in Western Australia, which ceased operations in 2020 - has only exerted further pressure on their supply in recent years. 

Unlike other coloured gemstones, the origins of a pink diamond’s romantic colour – long associated with love - also remains shrouded in mystery. “Their hue is not caused by trace elements in their chemical composition but by a miracle of nature, a distortion in their atomic lattice caused by pressure exerted on them during their formation,” Ghika explains, adding that the purer and more intensely saturated the shade, the more valuable the stone. “The most desirable hue is one designated a straight pink. There are a range of secondary hues including purple, orange and brown, however the ideal diamond is one that exhibits only one true colour – pink.”

Small wonder, then, that whenever a remarkable stone weighing more than a few carats goes up for auction it makes international news. Indeed, six of the ten most expensive diamonds ever sold have been pinks, including the 14.93-carat ‘Pink Promise’, the 24.78-carat ‘Graff Pink’, and the 18.96-carat ‘Pink Legacy’, which was acquired by the jewellery house Harry Winston in 2018. Just one year beforehand, the 59-carat, internally flawless ‘Pink Star’ became the most expensive diamond of all time when it achieved US$71.2million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. So intense was the bidding war, it lasted just five minutes and ended with a round of astonished applause. 


High jewellery bangle by David Morris in 18k white and rose gold, set with 9.97-carats of pink diamonds and a 6-carat D internally flawless pear shape white diamond, price on request.
Courtesy of Davidmorris.com.

Many other renowned pinks have become cherished parts of royal collections, too valuable to ever be sold. The late Queen Elizabeth II, who had amassed one of the world’s greatest jewellery collections by the time of her death in 2022, owned the Williamson pink diamond pin – a floral piece set with a flawless, 23.6-carat pink stone given to her as a wedding gift by the Canadian geologist, Dr. John Williamson. Meanwhile, the Noor-ol-Ain Tiara, which was commissioned by the last Shah of Iran in 1958 and whose name means “the light of the eye”, features an incredible 60-carat pink diamond in its centre, one of the largest examples ever found. 
‘Pink de Boodles’ earrings by Boodles with pink and white diamonds set in platinum and 18k SMO pink gold, £28,900.
Courtesy of Boodles.com.

Today, the rarity and romance of pink diamonds ensures they remain a tempting prospect for any jewellery lover looking to make a statement. According to Jody Wainwright, who sources some of the finest pinks in the business as the director of precious gemstones at Boodles, buyers should seek out jewels that are “nicely proportioned, not asymmetrical or too deeply cut, which can cause the stone to look smaller than it is.” As ever, it’s crucial to thoroughly research the market, seek independent advice and ensure the diamond has the correct grading certificate from a trusted laboratory, such as the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). When it comes to selecting the right shade of pink, Wainwright’s advice is to follow your heart. “What we really love at Boodles is a purple-ish tinge to the pink. More baby pink, or ‘Hubabubba’, as I remember it!’ 

Ideally, you should choose the stone that causes you to fall-head-over-heels - hopefully you’re going to be together for years to come.   
 
Five pink diamond jewels to invest in right now:
‘Pink de Boodles’ earrings by Boodles with pink and white diamonds set in platinum and 18k SMO pink gold, £28,900. Boodles.com.
Portraits of Nature Butterfly ring by De Beers in white and rose gold, set with fancy pink diamonds, price on request. Debeers.co.uk.
High jewellery bangle by David Morris in 18k white and rose gold, set with 9.97-carats of pink diamonds and a 6-carat D internally flawless pear shape white diamond, price on request, Davidmorris.com.
Haute Joaillerie collection ring by Chopard in 18k white and rose gold set with a pear-shaped, 2.4 carat fancy pink diamond and white diamonds, price on request. Chopard.com.

One-of-a-kind Dragonfly brooch by Hirsh London with pink diamonds set in platinum and 18k rose gold, price on request.
Courtesy of Hirshlondon.com.
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