$71.2 Million Pink Star Becomes World's Most Expensive Diamond Ever Sold

The "Pink Star", the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America according to Sotheby's, set "a new record for any diamond or jewel at auction", the auction house tweeted.

Graff Pink was also the most expensive diamond ever auctioned at the time, but its record was beaten by two blue diamonds: the $49.4-million Blue Moon bought by Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau in 2015 and the $57.6-million "Oppenheimer Blue" by an anonymous buyer in 2016. "The price has more than doubled the record for a fancy vivid pink diamond that we set just previous year in Geneva".

The oval-shaped 59.6 carat stone was bought after just five minutes' bidding at Sotheby's, reports said.

It had already been auctioned by Sotheby's in 2013 in Geneva for 83 million dollars but the buyer, the NY diamond Isaac Wolf, had been lacking. Sotheby's Asia Chairwoman revealed that the winning bidder is Hong Kong's jeweller Chow Tai Fook.

"Of course, the buyer definitely has the financial capability", Wong told reporters, adding all three bidders were vetted and had a longstanding relationship with the auction house. "We're very happy", Wong said.

Bidding for the gem, which was found by De Beers at a mine in Africa in 1999, began at $56 million. The crowd packed into the Hong Kong auction erupted with applause when it was finally sold for a hammer price of $63 million, excluding the buyer's premium. "I know there was a lot of talk about the economy in China not being as positive as it was a few years ago".

Sotheby's decided that this year was the right moment to put the "Pink Star" back on the market, amid rising demand from wealthy Asian buyers.

The Pink Star diamond.

David Bennet, global president for worldwide jewelry at Sotheby's who led the auction, referred to a "historic sale".

  • Larry Hoffman