MANILA: A rare 25-carat Indian pink diamond worth over $5 million is among the massive collection of jewellery of Imelda Marcos, the Philippines’ former first lady that are being appraised to generate revenues for the government through an auction, according to media reports.
The newly discovered pink diamond, said to be exceedingly rare, was probably cut in the 18th century and worth at least $5 million.
The diamond is from Telangana’s Golconda region which is known for the mines that have produced some of the world’s most famous gems including the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) are working on the appraisal and auction of the jewelry collection of Imelda who is currently a member of Congress, Manila Bulletin reported.
BOC and PCGG reaffirmed their shared goal to “undertake successful physical inventory, appraisal and auction” of the Marcos’ jewelry collection soon after they entered into an agreement last month.
The agencies would establish an inter-agency working group, the sole body to supervise and coordinate with the auction process with a re-assessment of the jewelry set.
An appraisal of the three sets of jewellery by Christie’s Auction House in 1991 was pegged at $8.57 million.
It is seen as the first step made by the Benigno Aquino government towards auctioning off the billion-dollar jewelry collection Marcos. The revenues generated would be deposited to the National Treasury.
The jewelry collection has been stored in the vaults of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas since they were confiscated in 1986 when Marcos’ family family fled to the US after an uprising that ended her late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ two decades of regime, the report said.