Prospective bidders for the Princie diamond are requested to please contact the Jewelry Department no later than 24 hours prior to the auction.
The Princie diamond traces its noble lineage to the Nizams of Hyderabad, rulers of the south central state in India through which the fabled Golconda mines ran and then through the famous house of Van Cleef & Arpels. Christened by Pierre Arpels in 1960 at a party in Paris honoring the young Prince of Baroda, the Princie has remained absolutely untouched since it was mined over 300 years ago. The most beautiful stones discovered in Golconda were always reserved for kings and rulers as they represented the highest power, which was then magically transferred to the owner. It was a widely regarded belief that God's gift to India became India's gift to mankind and the Princie is undoubtedly one of the greatest gifts of Golconda.
First introduced to the world at a Sotheby's auction in 1960 as a spectacular pink cushion-cut diamond, being offered as "The Property of a Gentleman" who was none other than the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Princie was purchased by the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels for a very significant 46,000 English pounds. It was subsequently sent to their Paris store, where a christening party was held in its honor. Many dignitaries graced the event and the guests of honor were Sita Devi, Maharanee of Baroda and her fourteen-year old son Sayajirao Gaekwad, affectionately known as "Princie." Sita Devi was a beautiful young woman referred to as "The Indian Wallis Simpson" and was known for her lavish lifestyle and passion for jewels. She received jewelry from the Baroda Treasury which included the famous Star of the South Diamond, the English Dresden and the Baroda pearl necklace which was later sold at Christie's New York for a world-record price in 2007.
A defining characteristic of the Princie diamond is its bright orange fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. According to the Gemological Institute of America, the Princie diamond's unique reaction to ultraviolet radiation has been attributed to diamonds of known Indian origin and therefore indicates that the Princie diamond is a classic "Golconda type" pink diamond. Of more than 7 million diamonds that have gone through the Gemological Institute of America's laboratory, no more than 40 of them exhibited orangey-red fluorescence or phosphorescence. Of these, the Princie is the largest pink diamond that possesses this outstanding phenomenon.
The Princie is at this time the largest Golconda-type fancy intense pink diamond ever to be graded at the Gemological Institute of America and the mystery of its extraordinary history gives it an inestimable allure, rendering it truly a priceless treasure from the Kings of Golconda.