It’s called the Lulo Rose. Uncovered in 2022 by an Australian-owned mining company in Angola, its 170-carat (34-gram) weight is impressive, qualifying it as possibly the biggest pink diamond discovered in the past three centuries.
Pink diamonds of any size are uncommon and truly massive gems such as the Lulo Rose are incredibly rare. The plan is for the stone to be sold at auction, and there is excited talk that it might fetch even more than the famed 59-carat ‘Pink Star’ diamond that was auctioned in 2017 and sold for $71.2 million. But in amongst all the hype and beyond the auction, what’s most likely to happen when this superstar gem makes its way into the global pink diamond market?
Myth, mystery and potential
The Lulo Rose pink diamond is rated as ‘type 2a’, meaning it has very few impurities and possibly none at all. So, does this mean we can expect to be seeing an astonishing cut stone in the future weighing in at close to 170 carats? Eric Kariuki, Director of Pink Diamond Capital, says that of all the possible outcomes involved in working with a very large pink diamond, this is one of the least likely. “A diamond like this could be auctioned off and wind up in the hands of an investor, and then we might not see it for years”, says Eric. “It all depends on the agenda of the party that makes the purchase. But whatever decisions are made by the buyer, it’s highly unlikely that the Lulo Rose pink diamond will simply be crafted and cut into a single, enormous finished stone. What happens with the diamond will be determined by a combination of the wishes of the purchaser as well as the shape and character of the natural pink diamond. It’s almost never as simple as cutting one giant finished gem from the natural stone, because this is seldom the simplest, safest or most profitable way forward.”
Provenance counts for every pink diamond
In the world of pink diamonds, the process followed by experts when working with one large rough stone often gives birth to a whole family of stones, with one or more ‘hero’ stones. There is planning, cleaving, ‘bruting’ (wherein the rough diamonds are ground to a basic, even shape) and polishing involved. It’s an exhaustive series of processes, all of which are carried out with the greatest of care by experienced experts, particularly in the case of a rare, enormous pink diamond such as the Lulo Rose.
“You can imagine that whatever happens with this huge pink diamond, the owners will be very careful to ensure that the provenance of the gems that result from cutting can always be proved”, says Eric Kariuki. “Of course, an incredible diamond such as this will always have its own story and that’s a story that adds value to the diamond for its whole life, potentially for centuries. It’s worth noting that provenance is of equal importance for investment pink diamonds of any size at all. In a global market where pink diamond production is comparatively tiny each year, it is vital that an investor be able to prove the origin of a stone all the way back to the mine from which it originated.”
Size isn’t everything
While the superstars of the pink diamond world are undoubtedly gems such as the Lulo Rose, there are plenty of opportunities for pink diamond investors that don’t call for the salary of a Hollywood celebrity. The really good news is that more modestly sized pink diamonds still deliver absolutely stellar performance. “We can all dream of owning an enormous pink diamond, but adding something smaller to your investment portfolio can deliver enormous benefits for even mum-and-dad investors”, says Mr Kariuki. “Pink diamonds are even permissible in Australian self-managed super funds. They have steadily outperformed all comers in the market over the past two decades, gaining and retaining value in a way that makes gold, colourless diamonds and the ASX look positively sleepy. And entry-level pink diamonds with proven provenance are available for around $25K. It’s a beautiful way to add some sparkle and interest to an investment portfolio, along with the sort of performance that has historically proved to be a cut above.”
If you are considering pink diamonds as part of your portfolio, Pink Diamond Capital hosts regular free educational events for investment. To register for such an event or simply to speak with Pink Diamond Capital Director Eric Kariuki about your needs, simply click here.