Russian diamond miner Alrosa announced on Tuesday that it has sold a 6.21-carat cushion cut Fancy Intense Pink Purple diamond to Larry West, owner of one of the world's largest collections of exceptionally rare fancy-colored diamonds, for an undisclosed price. Alrosa cut and polished the diamond from a 20.18-carat stone found in Yakutia, a region in northeastern Siberia, in August 2018.
Larry J. West is the owner of New York’s L.J. West Diamonds and has been collecting for 40 years the most extraordinary natural color diamonds in the world. His magnificent collection has been featured in museums like the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and worldwide auctions, and includes a vast color spectrum of pink, blue, yellow, green, orange and red diamonds. “As global production declines, pink diamonds will become rarer and thus more valuable,” said Larry West. “This is the first diamond from Russia that I have bought directly from Alrosa. It possesses excellent characteristics and will certainly take a worthy place in my collection.” The GIA graded the stone as VS1 clarity and of excellent cut.
West started his career as a white diamond melee wholesaler in New York and transitioned into pink diamonds after a visit to the Argyle mine in Australia in the early 80's - long before fancy-colored diamonds surged in popularity and price. In 2016 he bought the 2.83-carat “Argyle Violet,” the centerpiece of that year’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, Rio Tinto’s annual sale of the top diamonds to come out of its Argyle mine, and the biggest violet diamond ever found at the mine.
To establish provenance, the famous collector received an electronic passport from Alrosa that includes a detailed visual history of the diamond’s extraction and production, as well as information about the craftsman’s background. As part of the company’s traceability initiative, a short film is automatically generated on Alrosa’s digital platform based on information about each diamond available for purchase. “Alrosa deposits are known not only for their colorless diamonds, but also for a variety of rough colored diamonds. Our cutter’s unique skills allow us to turn them into high-quality diamonds,” said Rebecca Foerster, President of ALROSA USA. “A closed production cycle guarantees the origin of each stone and allows us to track its path from its birth in Earth’s mantle. With these advantages, ALROSA may well become a world leader in the colored diamonds market."
In August of 2019, Alrosa sold 14.83-carat pink oval diamond, cut from a rare 27.85 carat clear pink rough diamond mined in 2017 by Russia’s Alrosa, which was expected to earn more than $60 million. The diamond miner has siad several times recently that it is aiming to become the leader in the international market for colored diamonds, giving a preview of its collection of large colored diamonds in February 2019.