The Legendary Pumpkin Diamond: Among the Largest Orange Diamonds in the World
Halloween Eve 1997 marked a special moment in William Goldberg history, when our rare Pumpkin Diamond was auctioned by Sotheby’s. Weighing an impressive 5.54 carats, this cushion-cut orange beauty was aptly named for its vibrant color, shape, and serendipitous sale date.
While small compared to historic diamonds like the Hope or Koh-i-Noor, the Gemological Institute of America declared, "The Pumpkin Diamond is one of the largest fancy vivid orange, naturally colored diamonds in the world." Discover how William Goldberg transformed an unassuming rough into the remarkable Pumpkin, one of the most coveted orange diamonds.
Discovering an Orange Marvel
In 1997, the rough that would become the Pumpkin Diamond was discovered in the Central African Republic. To the untrained eye, it appeared as just a brownish-orange rough stone. But to Bill Goldberg, the 11-carat rough emanated potential.
He learned of its existence and, with his discerning eye, took a leap of faith by purchasing it. When cutting commenced, Bill's goal was to maximize the stone's dazzling color and beauty.
Pure orange diamonds are considered some of the rarest gems, alongside red, pink, and blue diamonds. The GIA rarely grants an orange diamond a pure color grade. Gemologists believe nitrogen or hydrogen in the stone produces the elusive orange hue, though its origins remain an enigma.
Bill Goldberg struck gold with the Pumpkin Diamond, sculpting it into the highest grade of "fancy vivid orange," reserved only for the most exceptional orange diamonds.
Auctioning the Precious Orange Stone
On that momentous Halloween Eve, Ronald Winston of renowned New York jeweler Harry Winston purchased the dazzling orange diamond for just over $1.3 million amid eager bidding at Sotheby’s. Winston designed a classic three-stone ring setting for the Pumpkin, flanking it with two smaller, crescent-shaped white diamonds for a bold yet elegant style. The finished ring was valued at over $3 million.
The Pumpkin Diamond captured global attention in 2002 when actress Halle Berry wore the mesmerizing ring to the 74th Academy Awards. She proudly displayed the vibrant orange stunner on her pinkie while delivering her poignant acceptance speech as the first Black woman to win Best Actress, for her role in Monster's Ball.
The Allure of the Pumpkin Today
In 2003, the legendary Pumpkin Diamond was removed from its setting and featured in the Smithsonian's The Splendor of Diamonds exhibit. This prestigious exhibition showcased seven of the world's most rare and valuable colored diamonds, with the Pumpkin as the only orange diamond included.
The Smithsonian noted the diamond's exceptional pure orange color, unlike most orange diamonds which have a brown undertone. They rightly recognized the Pumpkin as one of the largest fancy vivid natural orange diamonds in the world.
After that exhibition, the Pumpkin Diamond once again retreated from public view. However, its legacy remains strong. In 2013, a 14.82-carat fancy vivid orange pear-shaped diamond sold at Christie's for over $35 million, surpassing the Pumpkin as the largest known orange diamond.
Though its current whereabouts are unknown, the Pumpkin Diamond remains an iconic fancy vivid orange diamond in history and is the only orange diamond in our collection of famous diamonds. Bill Goldberg's vision transformed an ordinary looking rough into a gem that still captivates the imagination. Each fall season, we are reminded of this fascinating diamond and its story - a testament to the enduring allure of rare colored diamonds.