'Pink Star' Diamond Fetches World Record Price $71.2 Million

The 59.6-carat “Pink Star” diamond is now officially the most valuable gem or jewel sold at auction, fetching a world record price of $71.2 million, moments ago in Hong Kong. It shattered the previous record of $57.5 million held by the Oppenheimer Blue, which sold a year ago at Christie’s Geneva auction.

After the sale, Sotheby’s announced that the buyer was Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook.

Bidding for the diamond, led by David Bennett, worldwide chairman of international jewelry at Sotheby's, was quick and was dominated by three phone bidders, as viewed through Sotheby's live stream. The price began at 440 million Hong Kong dollars ($56.62 million) and paused at 475 million until a new bidder on the phone increased the price to 480 million. After a long pause it inched up to 485 million than 490 million, which was final bid. Polite applause followed the bang of hammer.

The oval-shaped internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond took an unusual journey to end up at this Hong Kong sale. It was first sold for $83 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2013, a figure that remains the highest ever for a diamond to this day. However, the consortium of buyers, led by diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, reneged on the purchase. It remained in Sotheby’s possession, valued at $72 million, until today’s sale.

The Pink Star is graded as Type IIa, which is rare for any pink diamond, much less one of this size and color. It originated from a 132.5-carat rough mined by De Beers in 1999 and was cut and polished over a period of two years. The Pink Star is more than twice the size of the Graff Pink, which at 24.78 carats was previously the largest pink diamond ever sold at auction, fetching $46.2 million, at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010.


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