The Williamson Pink Star
Live Auction: 7 October 2022 • 8:30 PM HKT • Hong Kong

The Williamson Pink Star 7 October 2022 • 8:30 PM HKT • Hong Kong

I n Homer’s Odyssey, there is a verse that describes the goddess Eos, the personification of dawn, which goes, “when the child of morning, rosy-fingered dawn appeared,” that ties the early morning to the mystical colour that we now call ‘pink’. Despite having captivated artists and poets throughout history, pink was not a common colour in nature. During the renaissance, artists began to describe this specific shade as a blend of red and white, and used it for the undertone for figures in their works. It was not until the 17th century when “pink” entered the English language and it was only in the 18th century when it became favoured by the European bourgeoise. The subtle yet distinctive shade made it a colour that signified novelty, elegance and splendour.


As rare as pink is in nature, pink diamonds are still rarer. Of all the diamonds submitted to the GIA, less than 3% are classified as coloured diamonds, and less than 5% of those are considered predominantly pink. Most pink diamonds therefore fall into the ranges of Faint Pink to Fancy Pink, and only a few have a strong face-up colour that can be described as Fancy Vivid Pink; and those are often small in size. Because of this, for a Fancy Vivid Pink diamond to weigh over 10 carats is extremely rare. For instance, in 2018, the GIA selected a sample of 1,000 pink diamonds from their database of coloured diamonds graded between 2008 and 2016 and found that 83% weighed less than 1 carat.

“…The Williamson Pink Star diamond, is among the rarest of all gemstones…Attaining a Fancy Vivid color grade with pink diamonds in this size requires a very strong inherent bodycolor in the rough crystal. It is unusual for pink diamonds to occur with a strong depth of color or saturation in any size…In addition to its exceptional color, the clarity is Internally Flawless – a special combination. Examples such as this are some of the rarest gems ever discovered.”
- Excerpt from the GIA Letter

Adding to the mystery, the exact cause of colour in pink diamonds is still not fully understood scientifically. There is no evidence that the colouration is due to a specific trace element, such as nitrogen in yellow diamonds or boron in blue diamonds. Early works suggested that manganese might be responsible for the pink hue, but after further investigation, that was ruled out. The best explanation available today is that the colour is a result of distress in the atomic level.

Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Throughout the ages, pink diamonds have enjoyed a significant place in history, with famous gemstones including the Darya-i-Nur, Noor-ul-Ain, Agra, and the Williamson Pink Diamond. The Williamson mine was originally discovered in 1940 by Dr John Williamson, who was a Canadian geologist, and it was a mine that was famous for producing fine ‘bubblegum’ pink diamonds. The most famous example from this mine is the Williamson Pink Diamond, belonging to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Life in Pink: History’s Famous Multimillion-Dollar Diamonds READ MORE

The Williamson Pink Star weighs 11.15 carats and has internally flawless clarity. It is only the second internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond weighing over 10 carats to be offered at auction—the first being the CTF Pink Star, sold by Sotheby’s in 2017, and continues to hold the world auction record for any jewel. Throughout its journey from a rough of 32.32 carats to a polished stone of 11.15 carats, cut and polished by master cutters from Diacore, the Williamson Pink Star has been greatly lauded for its rarity and beauty. This unique gem will hold its place in the jewellery history books as one of the most beautiful diamonds in the world.

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