The Williamson Pink Star diamond is up for auction on October 5 in Hong Kong. The reserve price is at $21 million and the auction to own it could get heavy going by recent precious stones' auctions. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: It’s pink and rare – and that could all the prompts a buyer would need as a diamond bearing that colour comes up for an auction in October. For now, prospective buyers from the UAE interested in the 11.15-carat ‘Williamson Pink Star’ can give it an onceover at its display in Dubai’s Almas Tower today (September 5).

“It’s internally flawless and we are hoping to set a new record for a pink diamond on a per carat basis,” said Sophie Stevens, Director for Jewellery at Sotheby’s, the firm that will handle the auction set for October 5 in Hong Kong. “And what makes it rare is that there aren’t too many pink ones coming off the mines, more so after the Argyle mine in Australia closed down late 2020, and that’s where 90 per cent of the pink diamonds used to come from.

“It’s one of the reasons why we are reasonably confident that the Williamson Pink Star will set a record for the highest price per carat ever.”

This has been a good couple of years for precious stones sold through auctions, and as ever, clarity and rarity is much prized by buyers. A De Beers’ Culliinan blue diamond auction – also by Sotheby’s – hauled in $58 million in April and was among the highest achieved for a diamond of colour.

Now, this is the space that the Williamson Pink Star will be entering. The 11.15 carat stone was unearthed from a mine in Tanzania in December 2021, and was then brought down to its current proportions. “The process of turning it from a rough diamond to a cut one took long,” said Sophie. “The internal flawlessness of the stone is what made the process longer.”

In 2017, a ‘CTF Pink Star’ weighing in at 59.60 carats sold for a record $71.2 million.

Pink is rare for a diamond - Here's why
What gives pink diamonds their coveted colour remains a mystery and it is one of the rarest colours to occur naturally in diamonds.

Of all the diamonds submitted to GIA (Gemological Institute of America), less than 3% are classified as colored diamonds, and of those, less than 5% are considered predominantly pink.

- Sotheby's

On display in Dubai

As one of the global hubs for the world’s rough diamond trade, Dubai and the UAE have figured as display points for rare and pricey stones en-oute to their auctions and to the hands of a new owner. Almas Tower thus figures prominently in the diamond trade space, hosting its own set of auctions annually.

What’s with the name

The ‘Williamson Pink Star’ derives its name from the mine in the Tanzania where it was unearthed in December last. The mine belonged to Canadian geologist John Thorburn Williamson, who, incidentally, presented a 23.60 carat diamond to Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding gift in 1947. It was turned into a Cartier brooch.