By Dr Shihaan Larif
The vice-president of New York Fifth Avenue based company L. J. West Diamonds, Scott West, owners of the 30.03-carat "Juliet Pink Diamond," the seventh largest pink diamond in the world, commenting on the Juliet Pink Diamond, the star attraction at an exhibition of extremely rare colored diamonds titled the “Diamonds: Rare Brilliance,” held at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County from December 16, 2016 to March 19, 2017, enlightened visitors to the exhibition, why the extremely rare pink diamonds was christened the "Juliet Pink Diamond." Scott West stated, “throughout history diamonds have been synonymous with love and romance. The Juliet Pink captures this connection with its strong pink color that is both alluring and seductive. After understanding the stone’s importance and color we decided to name the stone the ‘Juliet Pink Diamond,’ as the stone captivates passion and ultimate beauty.”
The "Juliet Pink Diamond" is a fancy intense pink, VVS2-clarity, oval brilliant-cut diamond, weighing 30.03 carats. The Fancy Intense Pink color grading given to the diamond indicates the high saturation of the pink color, just two grades below the highest saturation, Fancy Vivid Pink, under the GIA nine-grade scale for colored diamonds. Some of the other famous pink diamonds with the same color-grade of fancy intense pink are the 34.65-carat Princie Diamond; the 24.78-carat Graff Pink diamond before it was recut; the 14.23-carat Perfect Pink Diamond which sold for USD 23,2 million in 2010 and the 12.04-carat Martian Pink Diamond, which sold for 17.4 million dollars at Christie's Hong Kong in the year 2012.
The Juliet Pink Diamond
|Value / Price realized at Auctions (USD)||Shape/Cut||
|1||Darya-i-Nur||186||Antique Table-cut -Golconda||light pink|
|2||Nur-ul-Ain||60||Antique Oval brilliant-cut - Golconda||light pink|
|3||Steinmetz pink||59.60||Estimated 100 million||Oval mixed-cut||fancy vivid pink|
|4||Shah Jahaan||56.71||Antique Table-cut - Golconda||light pink|
|5||Princie Diamond||34.65||39.3 million in April 2013 - Christie's New York||Cushion-cut - Golconda||fancy intense pink/VS2 clarity|
|6||Agra||32.34||4 million sterling pounds in 1990 (about 6 milion USD)||Antique Cushion-cut - Golconda||fancy light pink|
|7||Juliet Pink Diamond||30.03||More than USD 30 million||Oval brilliant-cut||fancy intense pink/VVS2 clarity|
|8||Pink Sunrise||29.79||Modified Heart shaped||fancy pink|
|9||Rose of Dubai||25.02||6 million in 2005||Modern Pear-shaped||fancy pink|
|10||Graff Pink before and after recutting||24.78 23.88||46 million 2010 - Sotheby's Geneva - Nov 2010||Modified emerald-cut||fancy intense pink, after recutting fancy vivid pink|
|11||Mouawad Lilac||24.44||1.1 million in 1976 Estimated 20 million in 2007||Emerald-cut||fancy purplish pink|
|12||Williamson||23.56||Wedding Gift to Queen Elizabeth||Round brilliant-cut||fancy pink|
|13||Graff Pink Orchid||22.84||Marquise-cut||fancy purplish pink|
|14||Mouawad Pink||21.06||Radiant-cut||fancy pink|
|15||Hortensia||20.00||Antique Pentagonal-cut||light orange pink|
|16||1994 Christie's Geneva Auction||19.66||7.4 million in 1994||fancy pink|
|17||Unique Pink||15.38||31.5 million in May 2016 - Sotheby's Geneva||Pear-cut||fancy vivid pink|
|18||Perfect Pink||14.23||23.2 million in 2010||Emerald-cut||fancy intense pink|
|19||Martian Pink||12.04||17.4 million in May 2012 - Christie's Hong Kong||Round brilliant-cut||fancy intense pink|
|20||May 2011, Sotheby's Geneva Auction||10.99||10.8 million in 2011||Emerald-cut||fancy intense pink|
|21||Graff Pink Supreme||10.83||Modern Pear-shaped||fancy pink|
|22||Argyle Pink Diamond||10.11||Canadian Dollar 8-12 million||Cushion-cut||fancy intense orangish-pink|
|23||April 2011 Christie's New York Auction||10.09||Unsold - Estimated 12-15 million||Cushion-cut||fancy vivid purplish-pink|
|24||Conde Pink||9.01||Antique Pear-shape||light pink|
|25||Huguette Clark Pink Diamond||9.00||15.7 million - Christie's New York, April 2012||Cushion-cut||fancy vivid purplish-pink|
|26||Pink Muse||8.90||Estimated 12 million||Modern oval brilliant-cut||probably fancy vivid|
|27||1995 Sotheby's Auction||7.37||6.0 million in 1995||Emerald-cut||fancy intense purplish-pink|
|28||Christie's New York, Dec.2010||6.89||6.9 million in 2010||Emerald-cut||fancy vivid purplish-pink|
|29||The Vivid Pink||5.00||10.8 million 2009||Cushion-cut||fancy vivid pink|
In the table of famous pink diamonds arranged in descending order of carat weights the Juliet Pink Diamond occupies the 7th position, which means the Juliet Pink Diamond is the 7th largest pink diamond in the world, It is also the second largest oval brilliant-cut diamond in the world after the 59.60-carat Steinmetz Pink Diamond and also the 2nd largest fancy intense pink diamond after the 34.65-carat Princie Diamond.
Another view of the Juliet Pink Diamond
The Juliet Pink Diamond is a Type II diamond as it does not contain detectable quantities of nitrogen impurities. It is Type IIa, as it does not contain boron or hydrogen impurities that can impart a rare blue color to diamonds, classified as Type IIb, and constitute less than 0.1% of all naturally occurring diamonds. Type IIa diamonds are chemically pure diamonds, and constitute about 1-2% of all naturally occurring diamonds. Type IIa diamonds that are chemically pure and structurally perfect are absolutely colorless, known in superlatives as "whiter than white," "brighter than bright," "diamonds of the purest water," "purest of the pure," etc. and fall under the color-grade D to F Color, also known as "Top Color" diamonds.They are not so rare and constitute about 1-2% of all naturally occurring diamonds.
Colored diamonds including pink diamonds are chemically pure but structurally imperfect diamonds. Structural distortions arise by the twisting and bending of the carbon-tetrahedral units in the giant diamond molecule or creation of vacant positions in the crystal lattice, either during their formation deep inside the earth's crust or during their violent rise to the earth's surface during volcanic eruptions. Such distortions or plastic deformation causes lattice defects, such as dislocations, slip planes, vacant positions dispersed or clustered in the crystal lattice etc. that imparts rare fancy colors to diamonds, such as pink, red, orange, violet and brown. The distorted or defective areas in the giant molecule, sometimes referred to as "graining" in common parlance, absorb most of the colors of light of the visible spectrum, except the color of light perceived by the human eye as the color of the diamond, which is reflected. The occurrence of most of these colors in nature are less than 0.1% of all naturally occurring diamonds, and are considered as extremely rare.
The probability of occurrence of pink diamonds can be calculated, from statistics of diamond production at the Argyle Diamond Mine in the remote North West Kimberly region of Australia. Pink diamonds produced in the Argyle Diamond Mine are quite small, and averages about 1.0-carat in size. The frequency of production of pink diamonds is 1.0 carat of pink diamonds for every 1 million carats of rough diamonds. The annual production of rough diamonds at Argyle, is around 50 million carats and only 50 carats of pink diamonds are produced. Thus, the probability of occurrence of pink diamonds at Argyle is 1/1,000,000 = 0.000001. An extremely low probability of occurrence indeed !!!
Nothing much is known about the early history of the Juliet Pink Diamond, except for the fact that the diamond is of South African origin and was cut from a 90-carat rough diamond.The date/year of origin, mine of origin, the name of the diamond cutters or company involved in cutting the diamond and the previous owners of the cut and polished diamond from whom L. G. West Diamonds purchased the diamond are not known.
Veteran diamantaire Larry West’s two New York companies, L.J. West and Scottali Equity Partners, together bought the oval-cut, 30.03-carat, fancy intense pink, VVS2-clarity Juliet Pink Diamond in 2011.
There are six functional mines in South Africa presently out of which four mines, Cullinan, Finsch, Kimberley and Koffiefontein are managed by Petra Diamonds Ltd.. the Venetia diamond mine operated by De Beers and Baken diamond mine operated by Trans Hex.
Cullinan Mine is renowned as a source of large diamonds greater than 10 carats, having produced significant quantities of large diamonds greater than 100 carats, 200 carats and 400 carats in the past, and also renowned as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds. Since Petra Diamonds acquired the mine in July 2008, the Cullinan Mine has produced the following significant diamonds :-
There is no record of a pink rough diamond weighing around 90 carats being recovered in the Cullinan mine between 2008 to 2014.
Finsch Mine is known for highly commercial diamonds of +5 carats and is rich in gem quality smaller diamonds. Large, special diamonds are also a feature of the orebody, with a number of +50 carat stones recovered at the mine annually, and the mine also produces very rare fancy yellow diamonds.
There is no record of any pink diamonds being recovered in the Finsch Mine since the mine was acquired by Petra Diamonds Ltd. in September 2011.
Kimberley Underground Mine and Kimberley Mines Assets was acquired by Petra Diamonds in May 2010 and Jan 2016 respectively. Petra and Ekapa Mining then entered into a joint venture agreement in July 2016 to exploit the underground mine. The mine produced 531,469 carats of diamond in 2016 and 800,434 carats in 2017.
The Kimberley Mines have a history of producing large diamonds and fancy yellows, such as the Oppenheimer (253 carats rough). The largest diamond ever recovered at Kimberley Underground was +800 carats and the mine is also the source of the Kimberley Octahedral, at 616 carats, one of the largest uncut diamonds in the world.
The Juliet Pink Diamond could not have originated in the Kimberley Mines as Kimberley Underground under Petra and Ekapa Mining started operations only in 2016 after De Beers closed the mine in August 2005. Moreover, there are no records of pink diamonds being recovered in the past from these mines.
The Koffiefontein mine is renowned for the production of white diamonds of exceptional quality, a regular proportion of which are of between 5 and 30 carats, and occasional fancy pink diamonds. In 1994, a 232 carat diamond was recovered at Koffiefontein, being the largest rough diamond ever produced by the mine. De Beers ceased mining in February 2006 and Petra Diamonds acquired Koffiefontein in July 2007 after starting operationd in July 2006 under care and maintenance conditions. Since Petra Diamonds had been operating the mine since 2006, and the mine has produced the occasional fancy pink diamonds, this mine is a probable source of the 90-carat Juliet Pink Diamond rough.
Venetia diamond mine owned and operated by De Beers and located 80km from Musina in Limpopo Province of South Africa, ranks as the world’s sixth largest diamond mine and has been in production since 1992. The open-pit operation is expected to continue up to 2021, after which it will be switched over to underground mining, the mine life is expected to last until 2046. Venetia is the largest diamond producing mine in South Africa, producing 3 million carats of diamonds from 5.6 million metric tons of ore in the year 2012. The depost consists of 12 kimberlite pipes and the diamonds produced are mostly gem-quality colorless diamonds.The recovery of significant colored diamonds from Venetia have not been reported..
The Baken diamond mine located along the lower Orange River in South Africa is owned and operated by Trans Hex. In the year 2004 Baken's production was 88,063 carats and the average stone size was 1.29 carats. Significant stones recovered in 2004 include a 78.9 carats, D-Color, Flawless diamond that sold for USD 1.6 million and a 27.67-carat pink diamond that fetched over USD 1.0 million.
Hence, out of the six functioning diamond mines in South Africa only two mines have a past record of producing significant pink diamonds. These mines are Koffiefontein mine and Baken diamond mine. Thus, the Juliet Pink rough diamond may also have originated from one of these mines.
In the year 2011 the oval-cut, 30.03-carat, fancy intense pink, VVS2-clarity Juliet Pink Diamond was jointly purchased by Larry West’s two New York companies, L.J. West and Scottali Equity Partners, for an undisclosed sum from the undisclosed owner of the diamond..
Soon after the purchase of the diamond L.J. West and Scottali Equity Partners, sold 15% ownership of the stone to another New York Fifth Avenue based diamond company, Global Diamond Group Ltd. and another 10% to an independent dealer. Hence, the Juliet Pink Diamond acquired a joint ownership, with L.J. West and Scottali Equity Partners having a 75% stake, Global Diamond Group Ltd a 15% stake and the independent dealer a 10% stake.
In the year 2016, on a request made by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, L.G.West Diamonds agreed to lend some of its remarkable fancy colored diamonds, including the Juliet Pink Diamond, for an exhibition to be held at its renowned Gem and Mineral Hall, the largest in the western United States and one of the finest in the world, The exhibition christened "Diamonds : Rare Brilliance" and organized to coincide with the reopening of NHMLA's Gem and Mineral Store, brought together rare colored diamonds never before seen in the United States, and through stunning examples, such as the fluorescent lighting of a “rainbow” diamond necklace and a very rare Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple diamond, was particularly arranged to bring to light the rare properties of colored gemstones, the science behind natural colored diamonds, and how the interplay of light and chemistry gives diamonds color.
"Diamonds : Rare Brilliance" was led by none other than the extremely rare, most expensive pink diamond in the market, the 30.03-carat, fancy intense pink, VVS2-Clarity, oval brilliant-cut diamond, the Juliet Pink Diamond and the fancy deep grayish-bluish-violet diamond named the “Argyle Violet Diamond,” after the eponymous Argyle mine in Western Australia where it was discovered in 2015. Other jewels on display were the Rainbow Necklace and the Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple Diamond. .
"The Diamonds: Rare Brilliance" exhibition was declared open on Friday, December 16, 2016 and was held for three months until March 19, 2017. The colored gems and jewels in the exhibition were owned by L.J. West Diamonds, which specializes in the sourcing, manufacturing and distribution of colored diamonds.
Commenting on the holding of the exhibition, Dr. Aaron Celestian, NHM’s Associate Mineralogy Curator, said, “We are thrilled to share these gems, which are incredibly rare in color, intensity, quality and size — and so brilliantly fashioned from the original roughs — with museum visitors, providing opportunities to learn about the geology, physics and chemistry behind each diamond’s sparkle and hue, These jewels, on loan from L.J. West, capture the imagination and will shine amongst the museum’s world-renowned collection of gems and minerals.”
Juliet Pink Diamond as pendant to a diamond necklace, set with marquise, pear and round-cut diamonds
The Juliet Pink Diamond was displayed on a special setting designed by L.J. West as a pendant to a necklace, set with marquise, pear and round-cut colorless diamonds, having a color-grade of E to F and average clarity-grade of VVS, with a total weight of 98.70 carats.
2.83-carat, oval brilliant-cut, fancy deep grayish-bluish-violet Argyle Violet Diamond
Argyle Violet Diamond set in a designer ring surrounded by Argyle vivid pink diamonds
Another unique fancy colored diamond that was displayed at the exhibition was the 2.83-carat "Argyle Violet" one of the rarest diamonds ever recovered. The Fancy Deep Grayish-Bluish-Violet “Argyle Violet” is the only diamond in the world of this color combination, and it is the largest violet diamond to be discovered in the Argyle Diamond Mine. The 9.17 original rough stone was an unusual shape characterized by deep grooves and an uneven surface, which was transformed into a 2.83-carat, oval brilliant-cut diamond after more than 80 hours of carving and polishing.The "Argyle Violet" was displayed at the exhibition set in a designer ring surrounded by Argyle Vivid Pink Diamonds. The "Argyle Violet" diamond served as the headline stone of the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Signature Tender, an annual sale of rare pink, red and blue diamonds, unearthed from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia.
Another view of the Argyle Violet Diamond
Rainbow Necklace featuring over 100 radiant-cut, natural fancy colored diamonds with a total weight of 35.93 carats
The "Rainbow Necklace" exposed to fluorescent lighting is a jewel of exceptional design featuring over 100 rare natural fancy colored diamonds from the entire color spectrum. The necklace is set with radiant-cut multi-colored diamonds with a total weight of 35.93 carats, in a custom, one-of-a-kind 18k white gold arch necklace, which took over five years to assemble, given the fact that collecting diamonds of similar shape and size but different colors, was a very difficult and stupendous task.
Another view of the Rainbow Necklace
1.64-Carat, Cushion-Cut, Victoria Orchid Vivid Purple Diamond
The other colored diamond that was on display at the exhibition was the Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple Diamond, an extremely rare diamond due to its unique color. The Victorian Orchid is a fancy vivid purple, cushion-cut, SI2-Clarity diamond weighing 1.64 carats, set in a platiunm ring of flower design, with a matching pair of kite-shaped diamonds weighing 0.42 carats.
Commenting on the holding of the "Diamonds : Rare Brilliance" exhibition, Scott West, Vice President of L.J. West Diamonds said, "We are so pleased to be able to share these exceptional stones with the public through the Rare Brilliance exhibition at the Natural History Museum of LA. Just as the ring and necklace settings provide a backdrop to highlight the brilliance of the cut stones, the excellent company of NHM’s Gem and Mineral Hall collection will provide the perfect context for these rare and important diamonds.”
According to media reports that emerged in mid-June 2018, the Juliet Pink Diamond, that was exhibited at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles in 2016 and currently among the largest and most valuable colored diamond in the market, valued at over USD 30 million, became the subject of a controversial suit at the Manhattan Supreme Court in New York City. The suit alleged that one of the shared owners of the diamond, Global Diamond Group Ltd, with a 15% stake in the stone, was holding the diamond hostage, without returning it to the major shared owners L.J. West and Scottali Equity Partners with a 75% stake, because they refused to accept an offer from a prospective buyer, which they considered was too low.
L. J. West Diamonds that filed the suit, stated that until the case that prompted the dispute, Global had taken the diamond on memo around two dozen times, and returned it each time promptly, after showing it to a potential customer, rarely keeping the stone for more than 24 hours. This time as usual Global had taken the diamond on consignment signing a memo contract that only granted it rights to examine and inspect the stone and show it to potential buyers but not sell the stone and was required to return it to L.J. West upon demand.
Shortly after borrowing the diamond on consignment on May 22, 2018, Global informed L. J. West that one of its clients was interested in buying the stone, but L. J. West rejected the offer as it considered the price to be too low. However, L. J. West informed Global that it was welcome to sell its 15% stake in the diamond to the prospective customer at that rate,
Global in turn asked L. J. West to buy out its 15% stake based on the per-carat price the client had offered for the stone, which the latter had refused.
On May 23, 2018, L.J. West demanded the diamond back from Global in order to ship it to the Luxury trade show in Las Vegas, where it had a customer, according to an email released as part of the lawsuit. Global refused to return the stone unless L.J. West bought out its 15% interest, according to the filing.
The suit further alleged that by refusing to return the diamond to the plaintiffs as required by the memo, and by holding the diamond hostage to try to extract a buyout from the plaintiffs, the defendant has prevented the plaintiffs from showing the diamond to prospective customers, and is causing the plaintiffs irreparable harm,
According to the suit, Global believes L.J. West has an obligation either to sell its 75% interest in the stone at a price a prospective buyer offers, or to buy out Global’s 15% stake at that price. L.J. West however disagrees, saying it has no such obligation.
L.J. West in its suit is praying the court to order Global to return the diamond and pay damages resulting from its refusal to send the stone back when requested,. It has also asked the court to declare that L.J. West is not obligated to sell the diamond for a price it finds unacceptable, as well as other damages.
Mitchell Schrage, attorney for Global, said the suit is “entirely without merit.”
You are welcome to discuss this post/related topics with Dr Shihaan and other experts from around the world in our FORUMS (forums.internetstones.com)
1) Dealer Holding $30M Diamond ‘Hostage,’ Lawsuit Says - Jun 18, 2018. https://www.diamonds.net/News/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=62421
2) Spectacular Colored Diamonds on Exhibit at Los Angeles County Natural History Museum - http://www.ljwestdiamonds.com/news/
3) 30+ Carat “Juliet Pink” and Rare “Argyle Violet” diamonds make U.S. Debut-http://www.diamondworld.net/Content/30-Carat-Juliet-Pink-and-Rare-Argyle-Viole-diamonds-make-US-Debut/13662
4) A ‘Rare’ Glimpse of Brilliance Coming to LA - https://www.nationaljeweler.com/diamonds-gems/supply/4905-a-rare-glimpse-of-brilliance-coming-to-la
5) City Jeweler holding $30M pink diamond hostage : suit - https://nypost.com/2018/06/15/city-jeweler-holding-30m-pink-diamond-hostage-suit/
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