'Pink Star' diamond sells for record $71.2 million in bidding war

A rare pink diamond has fetched a record US$71.2mln at a Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) auction in Hong Kong today.

Described as one of "the earth's greatest natural treasures", the oval-cut 59.6-carat "Pink Star" is the largest internally flawless pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.

It surpassed the $60 million pre-sale estimate when Hong Kong jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook won the auction.

The Pink Star gem took nearly two years to cut after being discovered in Botswana in 1999. The record for a pink diamond was $46.2 million for the 24.78 carat "Graff Pink" sold in 2010.

The final price was 553 million Hong Kong dollars, including the buyer's premium, or auction house charge.




It's the largest pink diamond ever found in the history of humankind.

NY diamond cutter Isaac Wolf agreed to pay $83 million in 2013, but that deal later fell apart after the buyer defaulted. Its color, fancy pink, is the highest grade, and the purity of its crystals rank the diamond among the top 2% in the world.

The previous record for a jewel successfully sold at auction was $57.54 million in May 2016 for the 14.62-carat "Oppenheimer Blue" sold by Christie s in Geneva. Past year it sold an unspecified stake in the diamond, valued at $72 million on its balance sheet, to two companies, diamond specialist Diacore and NY jeweler Mellen Inc.

The diamond, formerly known as the Steinmetz Pink, was mined by De Beers in 1999 in South Africa. The uncut stone was expected to go for at least $70 million, but failed to find a buyer. It first appeared to the public in 2003 and has been displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Natural History Museum in London.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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