13-Carat Pink Diamond Pulled from Jewelry Auction Allegedly Stolen
It’s believed to be part of a $90 million scheme perpetrated by a man who billed himself as a psychic online.
Christie’s unveiled the 13.15-carat, VVS1/potentially internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ring in mid-November, billing it as a highlight of the Dec. 6 Magnificent Jewels auction in New York.
It had a pre-sale estimate of between $25 million and $35 million.
Not long after its debut, the diamond was pulled from the auction. Christie’s confirmed the stone’s withdrawal to National Jeweler but did not offer any further explanation or comment.
Recently, reports have been emerging about the diamond’s history and why it was withdrawn.
According to court documents first uncovered by Court Watch, the diamond allegedly was stolen from an unnamed wealthy individual who lives in Doha, Qatar.
An employee of this individual contacted a man named John Lee, who had advertised himself as a psychic online.
The employee sent Lee some of their jewelry to have it “cleansed of bad spirits.”
When said employee’s jewelry was returned but they were still experiencing “bad feelings,” Lee encouraged the employee to send him some of the employer’s jewelry for cleansing, court documents state.
The employee removed jewels from their employer’s safe and sent them to Lee at addresses in Davenport, Florida, and Paramus, New Jersey.
In addition to the large pink diamond, jewels shipped to the “psychic” included an approximately 42-carat white diamond, as well as two large yellow diamonds, according to court documents.
Instead of returning the jewelry, Lee allegedly sold the goods to a jeweler.
The pink diamond then showed up at auction, where it was recognized and eventually identified as a stolen diamond belonging to the wealthy Qatari.
Agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were present at a private viewing in which the diamond was identified and “took immediate possession of the stone, as it was readily apparent the diamond was stolen property,” according to court documents.
Christie’s didn’t respond to National Jeweler’s request for comment on the case by press time but confirmed to Rapaport it had cooperated with the authorities.
According to the court documents, at least 17 gems and jewels valued at more than $90 million have been identified as stolen as part of this alleged psychic’s scheme.
Lee is being charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, and interstate transportation of stolen goods.
The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.
The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative provides diamond credit and mentorship to young brands helmed by BIPOC designers.
De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.
Rolex remained No. 1 while a brand known for its pilot watches slipped into the No. 5 spot.
De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.
Jewelry designers have until early February to apply to take part in Couture's Diversity Action Council program.
Morgan P. Richardson joins from La Perla.
The new portal will share information on responsible platinum sourcing and how it’s used beyond jewelry.
Purchased directly from Rio Tinto, the collection consists of pinks, purples and one red, none larger than 1.52 carats.
Sherry Smith breaks down retailers’ performance last year, including how natural diamonds fared vs. lab-grown.
The AGS Ideal Report by GIA is a digital-only addition to GIA diamond reports.
Its focus are words like “sustainability,” “ethics,” and “responsible sourcing.”
She was previously the executive director of sales and marketing for the De Beers Group-owned company.
It’s from a new collection of charms designed to go in the brand’s signature lockets.
The revised Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report-Dossier still includes the four Cs but doesn’t list growth method or post-growth treatments.
Holiday sales fell short of the National Retail Federation’s expectations, rising only 5 percent year-over-year.
Luxury retail veteran Claudia Cividino has stepped into the role.