The Princie Diamond is an approximately 34.65 carat cushion-cut fancy intense pink diamond discovered 300 years ago in the Golconda mines. Princie Diamond is believed to be the third largest pink diamond in the world after the Darya-ye Noor (ca. 175 to 195 carats) the Noor-ol-Ain (ca. 60 carats) which are both part of the Iranian Crown Jewels but which were both cut, according to experts, from one single ca 242 carat pink diamond., and the Steinmetz Pink is a diamond weighing 59.60 carats.
The diamond was discovered about 300 years ago in the Golconda mines. Long before it was known as the “Princie” or by any other name it belonged to the royal family (Nizams) of Hyderabad, its first known owners. The then Nizam of Hyderabad had it auctioned in 1960 at Sotheby’s. It was bought by the London branch of the jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels for 46,000 British pounds. It was then sent to their Paris store where it was christened “Princie” by Pierre Arpels in honor of the fourteen-year old son of Sita Devi, the Maharanee of Baroda, Sayajirao Gaekwad (1945-1985). The diamond had not gone to auction or been seen in public since 1960.
It was auctioned by Christie’s in New York on Tuesday 16/04/2013 for what was a record-breaking price and was expected to sell for more than 45 million dollars. In the event it only fetched 39.3 million dollars which is still a record breaking price: it sets the record for being the most valuable Golconda mine diamond ever sold at auction and the highest price for any jewel sold at Christie’s, surpassing the previous house record of 24.4 million dollar set in December 2008 with the sale of the Wittelsbach Diamond. It was purchased by an anonymous collector bidding by phone.