Image: Williamson Pink Star – Sotheby’s

UAE’s largest free-trade zone Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) hosted the unveiling of one of the world’s largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamonds, the ‘Williamson Pink Star’ at the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE).

The 11.15 carat flawless pink diamond started its roadshow in Dubai and will travel to Singapore and Taipei, before being offered by Sotheby’s at a single-lot auction in Hong Kong in October.

Expected to fetch over $21 million, the Williamson Pink Star diamond has the potential to set a new price per carat record given its incredible purity.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman and CEO, DMCC, said: “From announcing the UAE as the world’s largest rough diamond trade hub to posting record-breaking diamond trade figures for the first half of the year, 2022 has been a monumental year for Dubai’s diamond story. Sotheby’s hosting the first unveiling of such an exceptional pink diamond at the Dubai Diamond Exchange is yet another demonstration of Dubai’s significant role in the global diamond industry.

Wenhao Yu, chairman of Jewellery and Watches at Sotheby’s Asia, added “The discovery of a gem-quality pink diamond of any size is an extremely rare occurrence. Driven by a limited supply and rising demand, prices for top-quality large pink diamonds over 5 carats have increased exponentially over the past decade, serendipitously setting the scene for the appearance now of this one-of-a-kind stone.

Pink is rare, very rare

As rare as pink is in nature, pink diamonds are still rarer. Of all the diamonds submitted to the GIA, less than 3% are classified as colored diamonds, and less than 5% of those are considered predominantly pink.

Most pink diamonds therefore fall into the ranges of Faint Pink to Fancy Pink, and only a few have a strong face-up colour that can be described as Fancy Vivid Pink; and those are often small in size.

Because of this, for a Fancy Vivid Pink diamond to weigh over 10 carats is extremely rare. For instance, in 2018, the GIA selected a sample of 1,000 pink diamonds from their database of colored diamonds graded between 2008 and 2016 and found that 83% weighed less than 1 carat.

Adding to the mystery, the exact cause of colour in pink diamonds is still not fully understood scientifically. There is no evidence that the colouration is due to a specific trace element, such as nitrogen in yellow diamonds or boron in blue diamonds.

Early works suggested that manganese might be responsible for the pink hue, but after further investigation, that was ruled out. The best explanation available today is that the colour is a result of distress in the atomic level.

Throughout the ages, pink diamonds have enjoyed a significant place in history, with famous gemstones including the Darya-i-Nur, Noor-ul-Ain, Agra, and the Williamson Pink Diamond.

The Williamson mine was originally discovered in 1940 by Dr John Williamson, who was a Canadian geologist, and it was a mine that was famous for producing fine ‘bubblegum’ pink diamonds. The most famous example from this mine is the Williamson Pink Diamond, belonging to Queen Elizabeth.

Dubai Diamond Exchange

The Dubai Diamond Exchange is the largest diamond tender facility in the world and home to over 1,150 diamond companies, providing members and industry professionals with state-of-the-art infrastructure, facilities, products, and services to grow and trade with confidence.

Dubai sits at the crossroads of the global diamond trade, with direct flights to the leading diamond hubs including Surat and Mumbai in India, Israel, Angola, South Africa, and Belgium.

Through DMCC’s continued work in the sector, Dubai has become a leading hub for the trade of rough and polished diamonds. In the first half of 2022, the UAE recorded $19.8bn in total diamond trade after a record 25 per cent year-on-year growth.