A rare pink diamond dubbed the “Pink Star” has become the world's most expensive gemstone to sell at auction, coming under the hammer in Hong Kong on Tuesday for $71.2m (£57.3m).
The oval-cut 59.6 carat jewel, discovered in a mine in Africa by De Beers in 1999, is the largest fancy vivid pink diamond, categorised as “flawless” or “internally flawless”, that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.
It sold after a five-minute bidding war, that started at $56m, to Hong Kong jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook at Sotheby's.
Tuesday’s sale breaks the record previously held by the Oppenheimer Blue diamond, which sold for $57.5m at Christie's in Geneva in May last year.
Prior to the sale David Bennet, Sotheby's worldwide chairman for international jewellery, who presided over the auction, said: “The extraordinary size of this 59.60-carat diamond, paired with its richness of colour, surpasses any known pink diamond recorded in history."
Tobias Kormind, managing director at jewellers 77 Diamonds told PA: "The Pink Star has returned to rock the diamond world - and for all the right reasons.
"It is pure diamond perfection."
At a previous auction, in Geneva in 2013, the Pink Star fetched $83m.
However, the sale later collapsed after the buyer defaulted on the sale and the auction house had to reclaim the stone.
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