A stunning 59.6-carat diamond known as the “Pink Star” has sold for US$71.2 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong, setting a world record for any diamond or jewel, according to the auction house.
The oval mixed-cut diamond smashed the $60 million pre-sale estimate set by Sotheby’s when it went on the block Tuesday evening.
The sale comes three years after the gem was sold at an even higher price at another Sotheby’s auction in Geneva.
New York diamond cutter Isaac Wolf agreed to pay $83 million in 2013, but that deal later fell apart after the buyer defaulted.
Sotheby’s did their homework this time to avoid another hiccup.
“All three bidders were vetted and have long-standing relationships with the company and we were very, very confident that all three bidders had the financial capability and of course the buyer definitely had the financial capability,” Patti Wong, the chairperson of Sotheby’s Asia, told Reuters.
The auction house says the gem is the largest flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
The diamond was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999 and took two years to cut and polish.
It’s now the world’s most expensive gemstone and the highest-priced item ever sold at auction in Asia.
— With files from Reuters, The Associated Press.