The Story of Pink Tantra
The first time I ever laid eyes on the Pink Tantra, I was stunned.
A lifelong connoisseur of fancy-colored diamonds, I had reluctantly sent a stunningly beautiful golden-brown diamond off to Suncrest Laboratories in Orem, Utah to see if it could perhaps be "de-colorized."
A very small percentage (less than 3%) of brown diamonds have as the origin of their color a distortion in the crystal lattice which manifests visibly as a brown body-color.
When one of these rare diamonds is subjected to high pressure and high temperature (mimicking the processes by which the earth creates diamonds), the distortion of the crystal lattice is relieved, thus producing a diamond of extraordinary transparency and a breathtaking ice-white color.
When Sonny Pope and Kevin Creps of Suncrest Laboratories called to give me the results of their analysis, I could hear the excitement in their voices.
"The chemistry and crystallography of your diamond is quite unique in that with HPHT (high-pressure high-temperature) treatment combined with irradiation it will produce an ultimate color of pink. And not only will it be pink, but it will be a pink of the purest hue, a fancy-intense pink with no overtones."
I knew they were referring to one of the most highly-prized of all diamond colors, a color treasured by diamond connoisseurs the world over. Diamonds with a fancy-intense pink hue have routinely shattered auction records for the past two decades, culminating in the recent sale of the most expensive polished diamond ever sold at auction: the 59.60 carat “Pink Star” which recently sold for $71.2 million dollars at Sotheby's of Hong Kong.
"Treat it," I said in a whisper.
Nothing could have prepared me for the transformation that was to take place.
When Suncrest called me a few days later, after the enhancement, I could tell they were excited. "Ohhh, Richard, this is a nice one. Where do you want it sent for re-polishing?"
"Send it to my cutter, Roger Baeck," I replied without hesitation. The finest diamond cutter I have known in my thirty-eight years in the business, Roger is a master Belgian cutter who relocated to Miami after developing a taste for beaches and blue skies.
After refinishing the stone, and tweaking every last drop of color and brilliance out of it with a fiery round-brilliant shape (not often seen in the world of fancies), Roger called me, equally excited.
"Ohhh, Richard, this is a nice one!"
"FedEx it to me" I whispered...
The next day started out like any other. I got up, fixed a cup of coffee and sat on my porch enjoying the blue Florida sky while I planned my schedule. The first order of business was to stop by Federal Express and pick up the package from Roger. Then I had to go into the office and tackle a pile of work.
Little did I realize that wasn’t going to happen.
After picking up the package, my plan was to go straight to the office and open it there. My curiosity, however, got the best of me and I opened the package while sitting in my car. It was a sunny Florida day, and when I unfolded the diamond paper the sun caught it in such a way that a hue of intense Pink exploded out at me.
I closed the paper quickly and shut my eyes. Taking five deep breaths to calm myself, I opened it again.
The visual panorama of color and fire which danced before my eyes transfixed me. Suncrest had coaxed the highest evolution of color out of the diamond and Roger had achieved the highest display of fire and brilliance I had ever witnessed in a fancy-colored diamond.
I closed the diamond paper again, feeling faint.
All thoughts of getting anything done that day vanished. Not knowing where to go, I chose the place which gives me the greatest peace: Sarasota beach on Lido Key.
At every stoplight, I pulled the diamond out to view it again.
At the beach I would alternate between meditating on the sound of the waves, and viewing the diamond. I could feel my vibration entering the alpha state, and understood why the color pink had dominated the world diamond market for the past twenty-plus years.
This diamond was breathtakingly spectacular, and it dawned on me, at that moment, it was worthy of a name.
My friend Jacques Voorhees, the visionary who created Polygon, was now one of the directors of the online Museum of Named Diamonds. This is the Museum which archives the names of the legendary diamonds throughout history, such as the Hope Diamond, and many others. They are the designated registry for such gems, a position granted them legally by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (World Diamond Mark Foundation).
Jacques’ son, Alex, also a visionary, had developed the idea of extending the privilege of naming diamonds to individuals throughout the world, so that the stories of diamonds which carry great emotional and historical significance to their owners, could also be preserved and showcased. This, also, was endorsed by the Foundation.
Several months earlier, Jacques had approached me about being one of the "curators" of the Museum, and I was greatly taken with the idea. As a curator, I was authorized to bring diamonds and their stories into the Museum myself.
I had no idea my first "named diamond" would be the Pink Tantra.
So after spending that day bonding with the Pink and marveling how it performed under every lighting condition, I was convinced it had to have a name. I ran through dozens of possibilities, none of which quite resonated. I decided to pause in my search, knowing the proper name would be revealed in due course.
That weekend I traveled to Atlanta for a jewelry show my friend Jonathan Shapero and I do together. I always enjoy the event in part because of the camaraderie between dealers.
One of these is Cathy Ard Allen, a woman of great depth and spiritual beauty. A goddess, if you will. She shares a booth with the distinguished John Steele, whom I have purchased many a work of art from.
"Cathy, would you do me a favor?" I asked. "I need a name for a diamond of significance, and I haven't quite hit on one yet. Would you take a look and tell me if anything comes to mind?"
"Of course," she answered, as I handed her the diamond packet.
She opened the paper, and I heard an intake of breath as the beauty of the diamond struck her, just as it had struck me in the car.
She looked up, mute, and then looked back down at the diamond.
After a long silence she revealed a smile almost beatific in nature; the kind of a smile one has when emerging from a state of deep meditation.
"The Pink Tantra," she whispered. “There can be no other name for this diamond.”
It washed over me with a warm feeling.
"Explain please," I replied.
"It's perfect, don't you see? The ‘Tantra’ is the "diamond vehicle" within the Tibetan path of enlightenment. While it is commonly (but incorrectly) associated with sex, the essence of Tantrism is the systematic quest for salvation or spiritual excellence by realizing and fostering the divine within one's own being, one that is a simultaneous union of the masculine and feminine, and has the ultimate goal of realizing the blissful state of non-duality.
"You and the man who heated this stone and gave it its best appearance, performed a marvelous case of alchemy. In alchemy the merging of the masculine color red and the feminine color white culminates in the ‘divine-union’ color of Pink.
"The original golden-brown color of this diamond was its ‘primal color,’ but you have brought it to its highest form and unveiled the true soul of the stone."
She then handed me back the diamond, nodded as if there was nothing more to say, and abruptly walked away. Clearly, there was nothing more to say. She had found the perfect name.
So, the Pink Tantra it is.
Perhaps its new caretakers (a diamond like this does not have “owners,” but rather “caretakers” who pass it along through history) will give it another name. This often happens with such gems. The “French Blue” was renamed the “Hope Diamond,” for example, and the “Pitt Diamond” was later renamed the “Regent.”
But in the meantime it remains…
The Pink Tantra.
Owner: Sherwoods of Sarasota