13.15-Carat Pink Diamond Pulled From Christie’s Auction Was Allegedly Stolen
Last week, a 13.15-carat fancy vivid pink diamond was suddenly pulled from a Christie’s auction in New York. With an estimated worth of $25-$35 million, the move shocked the diamond world. After curious investigation, it was found that the diamond was allegedly stolen, according to court documents.
The diamond was a late entry into Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale that was held on December 6th at the auction house’s Rockefeller Center headquarters. Due to its colour and clarity, the diamond mustered exceptional praise both from Christie’s and the diamond world.
So how exactly was the pink diamond stolen? It was part of an elaborate $90 million jewellery heist where an employee of the wealthy owner of the diamond residing in Doha, Qatar, sent the employer’s jewels to a so-called psychic living in Florida and New Jersey. The psychic was named John Lee and the purpose of the jewels’ dispatch was to have them ‘cleansed.’
Consequently, Lee was arrested and is currently being charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and interstate transportation of stolen goods. The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Ultimately, the pink diamond was identified by a diamond dealer who requested for a private viewing because he was suspicious of its ownership. Upon seeing the diamond first-hand, the dealer could confirm that the diamond was in the wrong hands, and belonged to the original owner in Doha.
What a story!