34-carat diamond, once owned by Nizam of Hyderabad, up for auction in US

New York:  An extraordinary 34-carat 'Princie' diamond from the mines of Golconda in South Central India, once owned by the world's richest man - the last Nizam of Hyderabad - may fetch up to USD 50 million at an auction in New York.

Christie's auction house in New York will today auction The Princie Diamond, an extraordinary 34.65-carat Fancy Intense Pink cushion-cut facet diamond.

Experts say the diamond may fetch up to USD 50 million, becoming the costliest gemstone sold at auction in history, according to 'The Independent'.

The diamond was once owned by the Royal family of Hyderabad, rulers of one of the wealthiest provinces of the Mughal Empire, Christie's said in a statement.

First offered at auction in 1960 as "Property of a Gentleman" - later revealed to be the Nizam of Hyderabad himself, Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan - the diamond was purchased by the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels for a mere 46,000 pounds.

The Nizam was proclaimed as the richest man in the world by Time magazine in 1937.

The diamond's unique name was bestowed at a party at the firm's Paris store, where it was christened the "Princie" in honour of the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda, who attended the party with his mother Maharani Sita Devi.

This is the first time in more than fifty years that this special diamond has appeared at auction, marking an unprecedented opportunity for collectors of the world's finest gemstones.

The day-long auction features almost 300 jewels, including top-quality coloured and colourless diamonds, rare gemstones, natural pearls and a great selection of signed vintage creations from the best houses.

Story First Published: April 16, 2013 18:13 IST

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