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Christie's announces the largest Golconda Fancy Intense Pink diamond ever to be offered at auction
An historic cushion-cut fancy intense pink diamond, weighing approximately 34.65 carats. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.

NEW YORK, NY.- On April 16 Christie’s New York will kick off the spring auction season with a colorful selection of superb jewelry for its upcoming Magnificent Jewels auction. The day-long auction features almost 300 jewels, including top-quality colored and colorless diamonds, rare gemstones, natural pearls and a great selection of signed vintage creations from the best houses.

As a special highlight of the sale, Christie’s also announces The Princie Diamond (estimate on request), an extraordinary 34.65 carat Fancy Intense Pink cushion-cut diamond. This historic diamond’s origin can be traced back to the ancient diamond mines of Golconda in South Central India and was first recorded in the holdings of the Royal family of Hyderabad, rulers of one of the wealthiest provinces of the Mughal Empire.

First offered at auction in 1960 as “Property of a Gentleman” (later revealed to be the Nizam of Hyderabad himself) the diamond was purchased by the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels for £46,000. The diamond’s unique name was bestowed at a party at the firm’s Paris store, where it was christened the “Princie” in honor of the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda, who attended the party with his mother Maharani Sita Devi. This is the first time in more than fifty years that this special diamond has appeared at auction, marking an unprecedented opportunity for collectors of the world’s finest gemstones.

François Curiel, Chairman of Christie’s Jewelry Department, commented, “One of the largest and finest pink diamonds in the world, the Princie Diamond carries a fabulous provenance, which brings together the legendary names of Golconda, Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda. This 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.”

Christie’s presents Extraordinary Diamonds from an American Private Collection, a carefully-curated private collection of superior quality. This assemblage of seven perfect diamonds has been in the same hands for decades and their beauty and quality express the impeccable taste of the owner. The group represents the foresight of a savvy connoisseur who understood the increasing rarity and value of top quality diamonds and acquired over time such an important collection.

The collection will make its debut in Christie’s Rockefeller Center saleroom offering four diamonds up for auction April 16, with two lots following in Geneva on May 15, and one final lot in Hong Kong on May 28.

Additional top private collections to be offered for sale include the Property of an Elegant Lady highlighted by a fabulous diamond cluster necklace by William Goldberg (estimate: $1,600,000 – 2,500,000), comprising over 160 carats of fine quality diamonds. Property of a Distinguished American Collection features a 1950’s emerald and diamond necklace by Harry Winston and an impressive D color potentially flawless diamond ring of 23.30 carats by Harry Winston (estimate: $2,500,000 – 3,500,000).

Often referred to as the “queen of gems,” the pearl has been a prized adornment in all cultures since ancient times. Today, matched strands of natural pearls have become increasingly hard to source, as the traditional pearling industry has all but vanished in the Middle East. As a result, natural pearls of important size and quality have become increasingly sought-after by collectors from all regions of the world, and their appearance at auction is always a major event for the jewelry world.

This April, Christie’s is delighted to offer a three-strand natural pearl necklace formed of 180 large-sized individual pearls, (estimate: $1 – 1.5 million). Ranging in size from 4.95 to 11.05 mm in diameter, the pearls are beautifully matched and graduated and the necklace is completed with an ornate cabochon emerald and diamond clasp.

Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry, Christie’s Americas and Switzerland, commented, “For our first auction of the spring jewelry season, we have compiled a superb selection of colorless diamonds, beautiful vintage jewels from the best houses, and rare natural pearls which are experiencing a remarkable surge at auction. Collectors continue to enjoy being part of a vibrant auction market both as sellers and buyers of rare jewels.”

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