Hong Kong--The 59.60-carat ‘Pink Star’ diamond has, once again, become the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction, and maybe this time it will stick.
The Pink Star is a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut Type IIa pink diamond and is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond the Gemological Institute of America has ever graded. The diamond came from a 132.5-carat piece of rough mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999 and was cut and polished over a two-year period.
Chow Tai Fook paid $71.2 million for the stone on Tuesday at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based retailer and manufacturer edged out two other buyers to snag the stone, Sotheby’s said.
Sotheby’s experts had estimated before the sale that The Pink Star would sell for more than $60 million.
It set a new world record price for any jewel sold at auction, surpassing the rectangular-cut, 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” which sold for $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva last May.
This isn’t the first time The Pink Star has found a buyer at auction, though the first sale fell through.
The nearly 60-carat pink stone went up for auction in November 2013 at Sotheby’s Geneva, where four different bidders competed for it. New York diamond cutter Isaac Wolf placed the winning bid of $83 million, which, at the time, marked a new auction record for any jewel ever sold at auction.
In February 2014, though, Wolf defaulted on the payment for the diamond he had named “The Pink Dream” and as a result, Sotheby’s had to take the stone back into its inventory because it had been sold under an auction guarantee.
Last summer, the auction house formed a partnership with Diacore and Mellen Inc. to acquire an ownership interest in the diamond, meaning that when the stone sold, proceeds would be split among the three companies per their ownership percentage.