Pink diamond expected to set new auction record

If diamonds are indeed a girl's best friend, then some lucky lady is about to get a new $60 million BFF. A 59.60-carat pink diamond is set to go up for auction in Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 13, and it is expected to fetch the highest price ever for a gemstone.

According to the Gemological Institute of America, the oval-cut stone is the largest internally flawless pink diamond ever graded.

Known as the "Pink Star," the diamond was mined in Africa by De Beers in 1999. Originally a 132.5-carat rough-cut piece, it was polished for more than two years to get it to its present state, before first going on exhibition in Monaco in 2003, then moving on to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. It then continued its journey when it was mounted on a ring and sold in 2007 to a private owner for an undisclosed amount.

More than twice the size of current record holder for highest priced diamond – known as the "Graff Pink," which sold for more than $45 million at a jewelry auction in 2010 – the Pink Star could make pink diamonds the three most expensive gemstones of all-time (a 35-carat example named "Princie" was sold for almost $40 million in April, 2013).

Pink diamonds in pop culture
Classified as Type II stones, pink diamonds have long held public curiosity. They are formed through a process called plastic deformation, where changes in pressure lead to structural anomalies during crystal growth, giving the stones their unique pink coloring.

The classic 1964 movie "The Pink Panther," which was the first in what turned out to be an 11-part film series, was actually named for a fictitious pink diamond that was at the center of the film's heist plot, not the now-legendary lead character, Inspector Clouseau, played by Peter Sellers. The same gem then made another appearance in the series' fourth installment, "The Return of the Pink Panther," in 1975

In 2002, during the public tsunami that was the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez romance, Affleck proposed to the pop singer and actress with a 6.1-carat pink diamond engagement ring, which garnered hundreds of headlines at the time. It also helped to cement the place of pink diamonds as collectible toys for the uber-rich and famous.

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