8 Famous Pink Diamonds Through Time

Diamonds go far beyond basic white; you can find natural diamonds that are blue, red, yellow, green, and many more beautiful colors. But one of the most desirable– and rare– colors is pink. Here, we look at a few of the most famous pink diamonds.


The pale pink Darya-i-Nur, which means “Ocean of Light” is a table-cut 186-carat stone, believed to have been cut from an enormous 400-carat rough diamond. It is one of the oldest diamonds known to man and is believed to come from India, where it remained until it was taken by the Persians in 1739. It is the most celebrated diamond in the Iranian Crown Jewels and is currently housed in the Iranian Treasury of National Jewels.


Also taken from India by the Persians in 1739, it is believed that the Nur-Ul-Ain was cut from the same 400-carat rough diamond as the Darya-i-Nur. The Nur-Ul-An, meaning “Light of the Eye,” is a 60-carat oval brilliant-cut stone. In 1958 it was set in a tiara, worn by Empress Farah in her wedding to the last Shah of Iran.

The Agra

Named for the Indian city from which it originates, the Agra was a 32.25-carat fancy light pink diamond. Its most recent owner, who purchased the stone at a Christie’s auction in 1990, had the stone recut to a 28.15-carat cushion-cut diamond. In 1596 the Rajah of Gwalior gave the Agra as a gift to the first Mogul emperor Babur after he spared his life. The stone eventually made its way to England, where it belonged many different people over time, including, at one point, the Duke of Brunswick.

The Hortensia

Named for Hortense de Beauharnais, the Queen of Holland and step-daughter of Napolean Bonaparte, the Hortensia is a 20.53-carat, flat, pale pink diamond. This diamond originates from India and was eventually purchased by the king Louis XIV. This stone was stolen during the French Revolution in 1792, along with many other jewels. It was later recovered when one the thieves confessed to the crime and disclosed its whereabouts.

The Star of the South

Discovered by a slave in Brazil in 1853, the Star of the South is a 128.58-carat, cushion-cut, pinkish-brown diamond. It passed through many hands before it was purchased by Halphen & Associates in Paris, and named Star of the South. It was sold again in the late 1860s to Mulhar Rao, the Gaekwar of Baroda, for $400,000. The stone remained in India until it was purchased by Cartier in 2002.

The Williamson

The Williamson, named for Dr. John Williamson, the Canadian geologist who discovered the stone, is a 23.60-carat round pink diamond. It was discovered in Tanzania in 1940, and cut from a 54.50 -carat rough diamond. It was given as a wedding present to Queen Elizabeth II, and in 1952 it became the center stone of a brooch designed by Cartier. It was celebrated in the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

The Steinmetz Pink

Discovered in South Africa, the Steinmetz Pink is considered by many to be the finest pink diamond ever found. This 59.60-carat, oval-shaped, fancy vivid pink stone has been graded as Internally Flawless, making it extremely rare. This stone was cut from a 100-carat rough diamond. Eight people worked together cutting the stone, and it took approximately 20 months. It was first unveiled in 2003 and is thought to still belong to the Steinmetz Group.

From the Lauder Collection

This 6.54-carat, fancy intense pink, the internally flawless stone was previously owned by Evelyn H. Lauder and was fashioned into a ring by Oscar Heyman & Brothers. It was sold to London jeweler Graff for $8,594,500 on December 2012. It was sold to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation at Sotheby’s New York. Evelyn Lauder created the Pink Ribbon Campaign after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989.

This article was contributed by Frank Fisher.

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learn everything you need to know before you buy a diamond in this detailed book!

learn everything you need to know before you buy a diamond in this detailed book!