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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

59.6-Carat ‘Pink Star’ Diamond Shatters World Record, Fetches $71.2 Million; Buyer Is Chow Tai Fook


The “Pink Star” diamond has been sold for a world record price of $71.2 million at Sotheby's Hong Kong “Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale.” After the sale, Sotheby’s announced that the buyer was Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook.

The price shattered the previous record of $57.5 million held by the Oppenheimer Blue, which sold a year ago at Christie’s Geneva auction.

Bidding, led by David Bennett, worldwide chairman of international jewelry at Sotheby's, for the 59.80-carat diamond was quick and was dominated by three phone bidders.  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 buyer's premium pushed the price to 553 million Hong Kong dollars.

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, defaulted 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. It was cut by Steinmetz Diamonds over a period of nearly two years. The diamond was first unveiled to the public in May 2003 as the “Steinmetz Pink.” The stone was first sold privately in 2007 and renamed The Pink Star.

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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