Pink diamond auctioned for record $71.2 million in Hong Kong

A giant diamond named the "Pink Star" broke the world record for a gemstone sold at auction when it fetched $71.2 million in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Dubbed the Pink Star, the oval-shaped jewel is the largest internally flawless diamond the Gemological Institute of America has ever graded and was originally expected to fetch around $60 million. The Oppenheimer Blue which was sold for $58 million has been dethroned by its new opponent the Pink Star diamond.

The stunning 59.60-carat diamond was sold to jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook, who phoned in his bid to Sotheby's in Hong Kong, the Telegraph reported.

Not long after the sale, however, rumours began to spread that the consortium of buyers, led by diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, defaulted on the deal. The crowd in the packed auction room applauded when it was sold for a hammer price of $63 million, not including the buyer's premium. Given the rarity and subsequent value of colored diamonds, experts anticipate that gems like the CTF Pink and Graff Pink will continue to attract collectors and gem-lovers around the world.

November 2010: The Graff Pink, a 24.78-carat "fancy intense pink" stone described as "one of the greatest diamonds ever discovered", auctioned for $46.2m (£29m). The auction house tried its luck again in Asia, where it said it has seen rising demand from wealthy buyers.

The Pink Star gem took nearly two years to cut after being discovered in Botswana in 1999. It went for $57.5 million a year ago.

This isn't its first purchase of the kind; previous year it bought a green diamond for $17 million at a Christie's auction, and in 2010 the jeweller set a record with its $35 million purchase of a rough diamond from Cullinan Mine.

  • Wendy Palmer