'Pink Star' diamond sells for record $71.2 million at auction

'Pink Star' diamond sells for record $71.2 million at auction

A 59.60-carat oval pink diamond was auctioned for 0.553 billion Hong Kong dollars (71.2 million US dollars) at Sotheby's Hong Kong jewels and jadeite spring sale on Tuesday, setting a new world record for any diamond or jewel.

At 59.60 carats, the "Pink Star" was the largest ever polished diamond to be auctioned and beat Sotheby's pre-sale estimate of US$60mln. The crowd in the packed auction room applauded when it was sold for a hammer price of $63 million, not including the buyer's premium.

Wong said the company is not anxious about another default because the bidders were vetted and have longstanding relationships with Sotheby's. Sotheby's presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and two retail businesses, Sotheby's Diamonds and Sotheby's Wine.

Due to this sale the auction house gets some respite after it failed to sell other expensive diamonds that were in lower prices like the diamond of Shirley Temple. The gem fetched a record $83 million but the buyer could not pay.

Chow Tai Fook, founded in 1929, is the world's largest jeweller, operating more than 2 000 jewellery and watch stores throughout greater China.

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The 59.60 carats rock was estimated to have a value of more than $60 million.

Also called the Steinmetz Pink, after the billionaire whose organization was responsible for cutting it down from 132.5 carats, Pink Star was mined by the De Beers mining corporation in 1999.

The stone was first sold in 2007 and was subsequently renamed "The Pink Star".

The 14.6-carat Oppenheimer Blue diamond was previously the world's most expensive gem after selling for $57.5 million last May at Christie's in Geneva.

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