One of the largest pink diamonds ever seen - the Princie Diamond - has sold at Christie's New York auction of Magnificent Jewels.
The 34.65-carat gem crossed the block on April 16, realising $39.3m. It originates from India's ancient Golconda mines, which are revered for producing some of the world's largest stones.
The price achieved in New York represents a new world record for a pink diamond at auction, eclipsing the previous highest price of $15.7m by 150.3%, which was seen by the 9.0 carat, cushion cut Clark Pink in April 2012.
The Princie Diamond even beat the current record for any Golconda diamond, which was formerly held by the colourless Archduke Joseph Diamond that sold for $21.5m at Christie's in 2012. However, the Princie failed to surpass the overall record for any gemstone at auction, which is held by the Graff Pink at $46m, which sold at Sotheby's in 2010.
The Princie Diamond once belonged to the Nizam of Hyderabad, the royal family of one of the wealthiest areas of Mughal India. It was first seen at auction in 1960, when it sold for £46,000 ($69,940) to the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels - corresponding to a 12.7% pa rise over the past 53 years.
It was with Van Cleef & Arpels that the diamond first got its name, after it was decided that it should be christened "Princie" in honour of the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda at a party at the jeweller's Paris branch. The prince's mother, Maharani Sita Devi, then bought the stone from the company.
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