A New Pink Record?August 04, 22
Few people get to lay eyes on the world's largest pink diamond. The Daria-e Noor, part of the Iranian crown jewels, sits in a dimly-lit and heavily-fortified basement in the country's central bank in Tehran. Visitors are allowed in, for eight hours a week, but they are frisked to make sure they aren't carrying a camera or mobile phone. So images of the diamond are extremely rare.
By contrast almost everyone, especially those in the diamond world, will have seen photos in recent days of the world's second biggest pink diamond.
The 170-carat Lulo Rose, named after the Angolan mine where it was found, achieved immediate celebrity status, with appearances in virtually every news website and publication.
Reports vary on the exact size of the Daria-e Noor. It's said to weigh somewhere between 182 carats and 186 carats. It's also unclear quite how old it is. Reports based on a news release from Lucapa, the miner that recovered stone, suggest it's 300 years old. But it could be older. According to The French traveler and jeweler Jean Baptiste Tavernier, as cited in Encyclopaedia Britannica, it dates back to 1642, and was actually part of a larger stone, the Great Table diamond, which started life as a 242-carat rough gem and was later cut in two. There is, however, general agreement that the pale pink stone comes from India's famed Golconda mine, where the Koh-i-Noor was also recovered.
The Daria-e Noor - also spelled DaryÄ-e NÅ«r, Darya-i-noor - may be the benchmark for pink diamonds in terms of size, but we can only guess at its value. It was originally owned by the Kakatiya dynasty in India. Nader Shah Afshar, one of Iran's most powerful leaders, took the gem when he invaded northern India in 1739. It has changed hands many times since, but has never been near an auction house.