Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Rinky dink

The Pink Panther was a diamond, first of all. In the original 1963 film, with Peter Sellars and David Niven, a famous diamond was stolen and Inspector Clouseau had to track down the thief and recover the stone. It was called the Pink Panther because it was a rare pink diamond and it had a flaw that supposedly looked a bit like a panther. Over the opening credits, to Mancini's brilliant theme, a dancing cartoon Pink Panther got his big break. The cartoons followed when the film company executives loved the intro and commissioned an animated short The Pink Phink, which in turn won an Oscar in 1964. More followed, thankfully.

I've moved away from the subject of diamonds a little here. Point was that there was a pink diamond up for auction today, by Christie's in Hong Kong. It's called Martian Pink, named by an American jeweller, Harry Winston, in the 70s, who cut it in honour of a Martian satellite being launched at the time. Pink isn't the rarest colour for diamonds, but along with blue they are among the most valuable gemstones in the world. The pink colour is caused by flaws in the crystal structure, rather than in some cases where the presence of trace amounts of other elements  - blue is due to boron, yellow to nitrogen.

Estimates for today's sale varied between $8-12million, but a pink diamond about twice the size sold in 2010 for £29m, so it might go a little higher than the estimate. I don't have any pink diamonds.

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