Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Pink Star Diamond Fetches Record $71.2 Million In Hong Kong

The 59.6 carat Pink Star diamond sold for $71.2 million at a Sotheby's auction held in Hong Kong on Tuesday, April 4, setting a new record and surpassing the auction house's presale estimate of $60 million.

David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's jewellery division, said: "I am delighted that this magnificently lovely diamond has been rightfully crowned the most valuable gemstone ever sold at auction".

The gem was previously auctioned off in 2014 when Isaac Wolf, a diamond cutter, purchased the stone for $93 million at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva.

The Chow Tai Fook jewelry group is chaired Henry Cheng, whose family was ranked third on Forbes' Hong Kong rich list with an estimated wealth of $17.9 billion.

November 2015: The Blue Moon, a 12.03-carat ring-mounted blue diamond, caught the eye of Hong Kong tycoon Joseph Lau, who paid a record $48.4m (£31.7m) for the cushion-shaped stone. Tobias Kormind of 77 Diamonds, an online diamond jewelery seller, said he expects it to sell for more than $100 million. Today, Sotheby's presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby's BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. The gem fetched a record $US83 million ($110 million) but the buyer could not pay. It's the largest internally flawless diamond of its kind that the Gemological Institute of America has ever graded.

Sotheby's decided that this year was the right moment to put the "Pink Star" back on the market, amid rising demand from wealthy Asian buyers.

During the three-month exhibition, more than 1.5 million visitors stopped by to see the jewels.

The diamond was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999 and took two years to cut and polish.

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.

The diamond was first unveiled to the public in May 2003 as the "Steinmetz Pink", and was modeled by Danish model Helena Christensen at a dedicated event thrown to coincide with the Monaco Grand Prix.

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