Alrosa, the state-controlled Russian mining company, which alongside De Beers controls some 80 percent of the world’s rough diamond supply, has unveiled a set of spectacular stones, many of them large and fancy colored.
Arguably the most notable specimen in the collection is a pink oval-cut stone, weighing 14.83 carats. The company describes it as the largest pink diamond ever discovered in Russia, far exceeding the company’s previous record-holding pink stone, which weighed in at considerably more modest 3.86 carats.
ABOVE: The pink oval-cut stone, weighing 14.83 carats, described as the largest pink diamond ever discovered in Russia. (Photo courtesy of Alrosa.)
“Pink diamonds among the blue ones are considered to be the rarest and most precious of all, and the size and clarity of this specimen makes it one of the best to be discovered anywhere in the world in recent years,” remarked Yury Okoyemov, Alrosa’s chief executive officer. “I am sure that this diamond will be the most expensive in the history of Russia’s gem cutting industry.”
The pink polished diamond had been produced from a rough stone discovered in 2017 at the Ebelyakh deposit in Yakutia.
The 20.69-carat deep yellow diamond, the largest stone in Alrosa’s fancy color diamond collection. (Photo courtesy of Alrosa.)
DEEP YELLOW DIAMOND IS LARGEST STONE IN COLLECTION
But while it most probably was the most valuable, the pink diamond was not the largest fancy color stone unveiled by Alrosa. That title would be claimed by a deep yellow Asscher-cut diamond, weighing 20.69 carats. It was produced from a rough diamond also mined in 2017.
Other diamonds in Alrosa’s fancy color collection include a pink-purple cushion-shaped stone, weighing 11.06 carats. It already has been recognized by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as the largest diamond of its color ever discovered.
“The diamonds we are now exhibiting are completely unique, and each of them perfectly embodies the Russian art of gem cutting,” Okoyemov stated. “We calculate that the huge potential of our colored diamonds will very soon enable Alrosa to become the world’s leader in that market.”
HEART SHAPED AND 300 MILLION YEARS’ OLD
While not fancy colored, possibly the most unusual and certainly the most timely stone to be revealed by Alrosa was a 65.7-carat, almost perfectly heart-shaped stone, which was unveiled on Valentine’s Day on February 14.
The 65.7-carat rough heart-shaped diamond, unveiled by Alrosa on Valentine’s Day. (Photo courtesy of Alrosa.)
Heart-shaped diamonds are not unusual, when they are polished. But this one was a rough stone, meaning that it had been created in this form in nature, which according to Alrosa was 300 million years ago. It was mined less than one month earlier at the Udachnaya kimberlite pipe in Yakutia.
“Diamonds of a distinctive shape that resemble some object or symbol are extremely rare in nature. Most rough diamonds are octahedron-shaped or do not have a particular shape at all. The appearance of a heart-shaped rough diamond, especially on the eve of Valentine’s Day, seems to be a symbolic gift of nature not only to our company but also to all loving couples,” said Evgeny Agureev, director of the Russian mining company’s trading arm, the United Selling Organization.
Alrosa has a reputation for associating unusually shaped diamonds with notable events. Just prior to the FIFA World Cup last year, which was hosted in Russia, the company unveiled a rough diamond in the shape of a soccer ball. It had been discovered at the Karpinskaya-1 pipe in the Arkhangelsk Region, in the northwest of the country.