This 11.15-Carat Pink Diamond Just Shattered Estimates to Sell for a Record $57.7 Million

The Williamson Pink Star shone brighter than expected at Sotheby’s over the weekend.

The extremely rare 11.15-carat pink diamond sold for a record $57.7 million at a standalone, single-lot auction in Hong Kong on October 7. There were several people bidding on the precious stone, but it was eventually sold to an unknown buyer for more than double the pre-sale estimate of $21 million.

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The cushion-cut gem is now the second most valuable jewel or gemstone ever sold at auction, following the 59.6-carat Pink Star diamond that realized $71.2 million in 2017. It also set a new per-carat price record (roughly $5 million) for any diamond at auction. The previous record was $4 million per carat, which the 12-carat Blue Moon of Josephine set when it sold for $48.4 million in 2015.

Williamson Pink Star auction
The diamond was sold after a 20-minute bidding battle.

The Williamson Pink Star was named after two of the most famous pink diamonds in jewelry history. The first is the aforementioned Pink Star, while the second is the 23.6-carat Williamson stone that was given to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip as a wedding gift in 1947 by Canadian geologist John Thoburn Williamson.

One of the purest, pinkest diamonds ever to go under the gavel, the Williamson Pink Star was discovered at Williamson’s mine in Tanzania just like the Queen’s. The legendary mine is known for producing stones with a coveted “bubblegum” pink hue that ranks them among the rarest and most valuable of all colored diamonds.

The Williamson Pink Star Diamond
The Williamson Pink Star weighs 11.15 carats.

What makes this rock rarer still is the fact that it has a fancy vivid color grade and the clarity is internally flawless. The gem was polished by Diacore, which is the same diamond manufacturer that cut the Pink Star into its final form.

“History was made in Hong Kong last night,” Wenhao Yu, chairman of jewelry and watches at Sotheby’s Asia, said in a statement. “The flawless clarity of the diamond was matched by the flawless auctioneering and our team’s execution—the Williamson Pink Star now takes its place in the pantheon of world record-breaking gemstones of the rarest kind—as the second highest price achieved for any jewel or gemstone sold at auction.”

Since the closure of Western Australia’s Argyle Mine in 2020, which was the source of more than 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds, the demand for rosy gems has outstripped supply. The amount collectors are willing to fork out for the rarities has evidently increased, too, which means there may be more auction records set yet.

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