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The Pink Panther DiamondWhat is it about diamonds that fascinates us so? Is it their rarity, their beauty, their inner fire? Or in the case of famous diamonds, is it their history, their story, that draws us to them?

In the case of the Pink Panther, the most famous fictional diamond, it’s definitely the story. This is a diamond that literally comes to life on screen when the diamond’s flaw, in the shape of a leaping panther, springs from the depths of the gem to introduce the movie. The catchy theme song, written by Henry Mancini, also helped the Pink Panther become a household name.

The Pink Panther, Opening Sequence

The diamond in the movie was given to a princess by her father, the Shah of Lugash. It’s very likely the fictional diamond was inspired by the Nur-Ul-Ain, the 60-carat centerpiece of the tiara worn by Empress Farah when she wed the last Shah of Iran in 1958. The pear shape of the Pink Panther is closer to the oval cut of the Nur-Ul-Ain than to the table cut of its sister diamond, the Darya-i-Nur, the 186-carat heart of the Iranian Crown Jewels.

While this stone, not at all fictional, has been called the Pink Panther diamond by some, it was actually nameless until acquired by Laurence Graff for a record $46 million in 2010. It is now known as the Graff Pink Diamond (not to be confused with the Graff Pink Supreme or the Graff Pink Orchid).

Pink diamonds are fairly rare, which of course adds to their allure. Since the discovery of pink diamonds in the Argyle Mine of western Australia, they have become more attainable, but good quality pink diamonds still make up less than 2% of the world’s diamonds. When celebrities wear pink diamond engagement rings, as did Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey, their popularity is bumped up considerably. Even without Hollywood hype, pink diamonds are truly special, and we are just as dazzled by them as the rest of the world.  However, even though it didn’t make this list, the Pink Panther is still our favorite!


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