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Articles from DIAMOND JEWELLERY (841 Articles), DIAMONDS BY COLOUR - PINK (35 Articles)











The record-breaking Princie Diamond is currently the subject of a complex legal dispute.
The record-breaking Princie Diamond is currently the subject of a complex legal dispute.

Christie’s hit with $40 million pink diamond lawsuit

International auction house Christie’s is embroiled in a legal dispute with an Italian family over the Princie Diamond, which it sold for nearly $US40 million in 2013.

Descendants of colourful Italian senator Renato Angiolillo claim they are the rightful owners of the Princie, a 34-65-carat fancy intense pink diamond mined in Golconda, India in the 18th Century.

Angiolillo acquired the stone from Van Cleef & Arpels in 1960. According to Italian law, Angiolillo’s children should have inherited it upon his death in 1973.

Instead, Angiolillo’s wife Maria Girani kept the Princie. When she passed away in 2009, her son Marco Milella sold it to Swiss gems dealer David Gol for $US20 million. Milella was investigated by Italian authorities but was not convicted of any crime.

"This issue stems from a long-standing and highly contentious inheritance dispute among the members of an Italian family"
Spokesperson, Christie’s

Gol then enlisted Christie’s to auction the stone and it was bought by a member of the Qatari royal family; at the time, it was the most expensive diamond ever sold by Christie’s and the most expensive ever sold at auction in the US.

The lawsuit claims that Gol and Christie’s proceeded with the auction despite knowing that the ownership of the diamond was disputed – and even threatened to sue the Angiolillos if they blocked the sale.

The filing requests that the diamond be returned, or that the Angiolillos be paid its market value plus damages.

However, Christie’s claims Gol acquired the stone legally according to Swiss law, and that the Angiolillo family had failed to provide any new information establishing ownership.

A Christie’s spokesperson told Jeweller, “This issue stems from a long-standing and highly contentious inheritance dispute among the members of an Italian family, who claim to be heirs of a past owner of the pink diamond.

“Prior to Christie’s sale of the diamond in 2013, the two main representatives of the family expressly withdrew any objection to the sale, then two years after the successful sale they sued to claim inheritance rights to the proceeds without providing any significant new information to support a title claim. Because this matter unfortunately has not been resolved to date among the family members, the issue is proceeding through the courts.”

The New York Supreme Court was scheduled to hear the case this week, however, an appellate court put it on indefinite hold.pending further hearings and an appeal by Christie’s.

 

More reading:
Fancy colour diamonds found in Botswana as Argyle closure approaches
Inside the fascinating world of natural colour diamonds
Magnificent $26 million blue diamond highlight of auction
 











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