Thursday, November 15, 2018

Of Pink Diamonds

An employee displays the Pink Legacy during a preview at Christie's.

A rare 18.96-carat pink diamond fetched $50 million (RM210 million) at an auction in Geneva, Switzerland this week, Christie's said – setting a new per carat record for a stone of its kind, i.e. $2.637 million per carat.

Christie's said the Pink Legacy is "the largest and finest Fancy Vivid Pink diamond ever offered at auction by the company", calling it "incomparable". (Note: "fancy vivid" is the highest possible grade of color intensity). 

If you don’t know, most pink diamonds weigh less than one carat and those in the top color category with more than 10 carats are virtually unheard of at auction houses. 

Also, it possesses a classic rectangular cut which is traditionally used for white stones but rare for pink diamonds – standing out from the typical, more rounded, multi-facetted cuts used today. 

In fact, Christie's international head of jewellery, Rahul Kadakia, described it as "one of the world's greatest diamonds". 

The precious stone, discovered in a South African mine around a century ago and probably cut in the 1920s, has not been altered since, Christie's said. 

Named Pink Legacy, it once belonged to the Oppenheimer family which for decades ran the De Beers diamond mining company – and on Tuesday, it was snapped up by American luxury brand Harry Wilson, part of the Swiss Swatch group. 

Christie's said only four vivid pink diamonds of over 10 carats have ever been offered for auction. 

One of them, the nearly 15-carat Pink Promise, was sold last November at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong for $32.5 million. That amounts to $2.176 million per carat, which was previously the world auction record price per carat for any pink diamond. 

To Malaysians, it confirms that Rosmah Mansor (left) has class. And overly expensive taste.

She already has her grubby hands on her very own pink diamond pendant – I would name it Pink FLOM  reportedly worth $27.3 million (RM113.7 million). 

According to her dog...err, husband, Najis…err, I mean, Najib Razak – it was a gift from Prince Sheikh Mansour, the brother of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. Court documents by the US Department of Justice against fugitive businessperson Jho Low however, stated that the necklace was purchased by a shell company owned by him and other co-conspirators. 

I’m wondering aloud what would this piece of jewelry fetch now.

I can just imagine Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng gleefully rubbing his hands together and giving out whoops of joy. I am sure he can't wait to get his hands on it to cash out. 

I was at the EcoWorld Toastmasters meeting at Setia Alam in Shah Alam, Selangor yesterday. 

I was the General Evaluator and also an evaluator for Lee Chin Yee, who presented The Roast, an Advanced speech from the Special Occasion Speeches manual. 

All I can say is “Ouch!” – but I must admit, she was inventively ingenious. 

When she described her subject as a Sesame Street, it did say a lot about that person whom she was highlighting. I saw that individual as being a colourful smorgasbord of complex yet compelling characteristics coming together as one.

And I had never seen May Teoh laughed so loudly! 

What an awesome Toastmasters meeting it was! It was great fun but equally important, there was much learning to be had. It would seem that we were all enthusiastically riding on the crest of an exuberant wave that eloquently whooshed with enjoyment!

Distinguished Toastmaster Tan Saw Bee deserves special mention – she sacrificed a family dinner to be at Setia Avenue. And then, she surrendered her speech evaluation slot – to give the opportunity instead to an EcoWorld Toastmaster Thong Foong Lan (already a Competent Communicator)  but not before armouring her with confidence and coaching her for the task.

And the latter did not disappoint.

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