Princie Pink Diamond Becomes Center of a Family Feud

April 3rd, 2015 by Noam Flint

As something of a modern day Shakespearean saga, an emotionally fueled battle of riches is currently underway in a Manhattan court room. However, unlike ancient English literature, it’s not a throne that’s at stake, but rather an extremely rare pink diamond. The $40 million Princie Diamond is sparking a feud between Christie’s auction house and the family of the gem’s past owner.

Princie Pink DiamondPrincie Pink Diamond (photo Christie’s)

High profile lawsuit

The breathtaking diamond holds centuries of history and sentiment. Measuring in at 34.65 carats, the cushion-cut vs2 fancy intense pink diamond is a one of a kind gem that was the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction in the U.S.

The previous owner of the gem, the late Italian senator Renato Angiolillo, left the stone in the custody of his second wife, Maria Girani. Upon her passing in 2009, the gem was deemed missing by her son, Marco Oreste Bianchi Milella. So began an intense family fight between Milella and the Angiolillo heirs, who promptly filed a case with the Italian police to find the diamond, along with other gems that were lost in the process.

Italian police ended up discovering a number of the stones in Milella’s possession, including a ruby diamond necklace that he gifted to his girlfriend. The Angiolillo family allegedly contacted Christie’s auction house immediately upon discovering the sale of the diamond, but there was nothing that could be done. According to Swiss law, the title was appropriately received. However, legal requirements vary country to country, and New York law states that nobody can take the title if there’s a proven theft.

The demise of a family

Milella and Amedeo Angiolillo, the senator’s son and heir to the gem, were good friends, and even lived under the same roof for a period of time. They were always on good terms, which makes the dispute especially packed with emotion and feelings of extreme hurt and betrayal. Allegedly, Milella told Christie’s that he was the sole owner of the diamond, leading the auction house to believe it was a fair gem to sell to the highest bidder.

However, the Angiolillo family considers it far from fair. Amedeo, along with other family heirs, are suing the auction house for either the diamond or the market value of the diamond plus damages. So begins the basis for the lawsuit that will captivate the attention of many.

Here is the video of the actual sale: