The Spirit of the Rose: Alrosa’s Pink Diamond Poised to Earn Over $60 Million

A 14.83-carat pink oval diamond, cut from a rare 27.85 carat clear pink rough diamond mined in 2017 by Russia’s Alrosa could earn more than $60 million when it goes up for sale in November. Named The Spirit of the Rose (“Le Spectre de la Rose”) as a tribute to a legendary short Russian ballet that premiered in 1911, the preparation and cutting process was performed at the “Diamonds ALROSA” cutting factory in Moscow, and it will be the most expensive stone ever polished in Russia.

According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the diamond is of Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink color, Internally Flawless clarity, Excellent polish and Very Good symmetry, and is one of the largest pink diamonds in the world. It took a whole year for Russian cutting masters to turn the unique rough diamond – the largest of its kind ever found in Russia – discovered in at the Ebelyakh deposit in Yakutia into its polished form. The oval shape ensured that the diamond would be of the maximum possible size, and the dozens of facets emphasize its gentle, rose-petal color. Prior to the recovery of the rough stone, named “Najinsky”, Alrosa’s largest pink gem had weighed 3.86 carats.

The diamond miner has siad several times this year that it is aiming to become the leader in the international market for colored diamonds, last February giving a preview of its collection of large colored diamonds, with the star of the show being The Spirit of the Rose. “Pink diamonds among the blue ones are considered to be the rarest and most precious of all,” said Yury Okoyemov, Deputy CEO of Alrosa said at the time, “and the size and clarity of this specimen make it one of the best to be discovered anywhere in the world in recent years. I am sure that this diamond will be the most expensive in the history of Russia’s gem cutting industry.”

The GIA also stated that the stone is the biggest fancy vivid purple-pink diamond they have ever certified. “A large fancy vivid purple-pink, internally flawless, with perfect visual characteristics such as this one, enters the market literally, once in a generation,” said Eden Rachminov, chairman of the board of the Fancy Color Research Foundation FCRF). He said the Spirit of the Rose may be one of the most expensive pink diamonds ever, saying it could fetch between $60 million and $65 million. “Its beauty overcomes the important pink diamonds sold at auction in the last decade and its retail price should exceed €60 million.” 

According to Alrosa spokeswoman Evgeniya Kozenko, the Spirit of the Rose will be the most expensive stone ever polished in Russia. The company has not yet decided how it will sell the gem, via auction or otherwise, but set the sale date for November this year. Previously, Sotheby’s Auction House set the record for a gem price in 2017, selling the 59.6-carat Pink Star diamond for $71 million (€64 million). The Oppenheimer Blue diamond sold by Christie’s Auction House a year earlier ranks second at $58 million (€52 million).

Largest pink diamond ever found in Russia to fetch up to $65m


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.


Pink Diamonds Show Strongest Price Growth

Prices of pink fancy-color diamonds outperformed other major color categories during the second quarter, the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) said. 

Prices of pinks rose 0.4% quarter on quarter for the three months ending June 30, according to the FCRF, which released its quarterly Fancy Color Diamond Index (FCDI) last week. 

By contrast, prices of blue fancy-color diamonds declined 0.3% compared with the first quarter, while yellows slid 0.8%, the organization said. The overall index for fancy-color diamonds slipped 0.1%.

The fancy-vivid-pink category saw a price increase of 1.3%. Within that division, 2-carat fancy-vivid pinks rose 2.8%, while those weighing 3 carats climbed 2.6%. However, prices of 1-carat pink diamonds dropped 0.7%, with 1.5-carat stones falling 0.2%. 

The rise in pink prices is likely attributable to media coverage surrounding the upcoming closure of Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia, which is famous for its pink diamonds, noted Alan Bronstein, president of the Natural Color Diamond Association. 

While blue diamonds weighing between 1 and 3 carats saw increases, the overall price was dragged down by a 0.9% decline in the 8-to-10-carat category, FCRF explained. 

The downturn in prices of yellow fancy-color diamonds was led by a drop for stones weighing 1 to 3 carats, with 1-carat yellows falling 2.7%. However, prices of 8-carat fancy-yellow diamonds increased 2.1% in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 4.8% in the first three months of the year. 

The weak demand that has persisted in the market overall is also likely affecting prices of colored diamonds, the FCRF said. 

“The recent price declines in the white goods created an overall negative psychological effect on all diamonds,” explained FCRF advisory board member Eden Rachminov. “This is probably the reason we also witnessed a decline of 0.1% in the Fancy Color Index.”

The index tracks prices of yellow, pink and blue fancy-color diamonds in Hong Kong, New York and Tel Aviv.

Coloured Diamonds: A buyer’s guide

Diamonds have long been considered an attractive investment among investors, however coloured diamonds hold a mystique and appeal of their own. Only one diamond in 10,000 is classed as a coloured diamond, making them both incredibly rare and desirable. Certain coloured diamonds such as pinks, blues and reds are so rare in fact, that only a handful of investment grade quality stones weighing over 1 carat are found each year.

What Causes the Colouration in Coloured Diamonds? 

Coloured diamonds get their colour from foreign particulates that are trapped during the crystallization process from which diamonds are formed. These alter and affect the chemical processes causing the diamond to change colour.  Whilst scientists have been able to identify the exact particulate that causes certain diamonds to get their colour, it is still a mystery as to how red and pink diamonds are formed.

How Are Coloured Diamonds Graded?

Like colourless diamonds, coloured stones are graded on the four C’s; colour, carat clarity and cut. The difference being that colour grading becomes a much more important factor when assessing the value of coloured diamonds.  Coloured diamonds have a colour grading that ranges from faint or very light to fancy intense, fancy deep and fancy vivid. The more vivid or intense the diamonds colouring, the higher the price it can expect to fetch at auction.

Appreciation in Value

Over the last decade, awareness of coloured diamonds has increased significantly, helped in no small part by record-breaking auction sales, and extensive media coverage. In 2017 the pink star diamond, a beautiful 59.60 carat, oval cut, Fancy Vivid Pink stone was sold for an incredible $71.2 million at Sotheby’s auction in Honk Kong. The year previously, a magnificent 14.62 carat rectangular cut, Fancy Vivid Blue diamond became the most expensive blue diamond in history fetching a staggering $57 million. When you consider that even a 1 carat pink  or blue diamond is likely to fetch prices upwards of £100,000, it is little surprize to see that coloured diamonds popularity has surged among investors in recent times. In the last 10 years, pink diamonds have appreciated in value by over 300%, whilst blue and yellow diamonds have both appreciated by figures of more than 100%.   Across China and the Middle East, demand for coloured diamonds is at an all-time high due to rising income levels and increased awareness of coloured stones.  

The Future of Coloured Diamonds

Currently there are only a handful of mines around the world, unearthing enough coloured diamonds to keep up with demand. The Argyle Mine in Australia is currently the biggest source of coloured diamonds and is responsible for over 90% of the world’s pink diamond production. In just under a years’ time this mine is set to close due to the increasing costs of extracting the stones and dwindling resources. This means that the value of coloured diamonds, in particular pinks stones is likely to rise exponentially during the foreseeable future. For Investors this represents an incredible opportunity and one that many are looking to capitalize on. 

10ct. Pink Diamond Tops Bonhams Auction

A 10.03-carat diamond ring was the top seller at Bonhams’s Hong Kong auction, which saw a total of 163 lots sold for a combined $6.7 million.

The oval-cut, fancy brown-pink stone — flanked by a white diamond on each side — went for $606,200 at the Rare Jewels and Jadeite sale, Bonhams said Tuesday. That was at the upper end of its pre-sale estimate of $395,000 to $636,000.

“This piece was of great significance to present in our sale, as pink diamonds are becoming increasingly rare,” said Graeme Thompson, director of jewelry for Bonhams Asia. “Only one in 10,000 carats of mined diamonds is of gem-quality fancy color, and of this small amount, just 0.01% are fancy pink diamonds.”

A cushion-shaped, 4.01-carat, pigeon’s blood, Burmese ruby ring garnered $548,078, against an estimated price of $445,000 to $635,000, while a ring featuring a 12.92-carat Kashmir sapphire surrounded by diamonds fetched $471,602. The piece had a pre-sale estimate of $120,000 to $510,000.

Designer and antique jewelry pieces featuring emeralds sold well, as did jewels from Harry Winston and Bulgari. There was robust demand in most categories, the auction house said.

“The sale saw strength across the board in each sector — white diamonds, colored diamonds, gemstones, designer antique jewelry and jadeite — which shows the buoyancy of the market,” Thompson added.

Bonhams’s upcoming auctions include three London jewelry sales, which will take place on June 13, July 11 and September 12.