HONG KONG — The “Pink Star” has become the world’s most expensive cut diamond ever sold at auction fetching $71.2 million at a Sotheby’s sale on Tuesday.
Chinese jewelry behemoth Chow Tai Fook Jewellery was revealed as the buyer of the nearly 60-carat stone, edging out two other bidders over the phone.
“The buyer is Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery,” Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said just minutes after the hammer went down.
It exceeded its $60 million estimate but was under the $83.2 million it sold for in 2014, although ultimately the winning bidder from that sale defaulted on payment. The extremely rare diamond was held by Sotheby’s for the past three years.
Asked why the stone didn’t top the 2014 sale, Wong said, “I can’t give a reason. The price that was made before was not valid,” she said, adding they were “very happy” with the result.
Sotheby’s said there was no chance of a default from the sale this time. “All three bidders were vetted and have a long-standing relationship with the company. We are very, very confident all three bidders had the financial capability and, of course, the buyer has the financial capability. We are not worried at all.”
While Chow Tai Fook Jewellery is known mostly as mass jewelry brand, it has recently expanded into fine jewelry.
The 59.60 carat “Pink Star” is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever to be graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
The previous record holder for a cut diamond at auction was the “Oppenheimer Blue.” The 14.62 carat vivid blue diamond was sold by Christie’s for $57.5 million last May to an undisclosed buyer. The record for a pink diamond was $46.2 million for the 24.78 carat “Graff Pink” sold in 2010.