Mystery Surrounds Rare Lost Diamond and Reward Offer

February 9, 2001

The Swiss newspaper Blick published an advertisement offering a Sw.Frs. 500,000 ($303,000) reward for the safe return of a missing 162.5 carat pink diamond, described by experts as “of incredible purity and extremely rare.”

The stone apparently disappeared last month while in transit from Geneva to South Africa. Brinks, who was in charge of security, indicated that the stone arrived in Zurich, but never reached Johannesburg, its ultimate destination.

Pink diamonds, one of the world’s rarest gems, are found primarily in Australia, but so little is known about this particular one that not even a picture of it exists. Its value, even before cutting and polishing, is estimated at over $6 million.

There’s even confusion surrounding who placed the ad, and who is offering the reward. Blick indicated that Lloyd’s had engaged a “special firm of diamond hunters” to find the stone, and presumably was not only offering the reward in the hopes of recovering it, but also as a way of alerting the international community that it was missing and making it less salable.

Lloyd’s, however, told Reuters News Service that no special diamond hunting teams had been employed, and Lloyd’s hadn’t placed the ad offering the reward. “Lloyd’s is not the sole insurer of the gem, but is one of several insures who have provided cover,” said the insurer in a statement.

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