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International

Sold: the Pink Star diamond sells for $71.2 million, becoming the world's most expensive gemstone

16:30, Tuesday, 04 April, 2017
Sold: the Pink Star diamond sells for $71.2 million, becoming the world's most expensive gemstone

The Pink Star diamond has become the world's most expensive gemstone, selling at auction today for $71.2 million (£57.3 million) including buyer's premium.

The 59.60-carat pink diamond is the largest Internally Flawless, Fancy Vivid pink diamond ever graded by the GIA, and sold for above its estimate of $60 million (£48.3 million) at Sotheby's in Hong Kong.

It breaks the record previously held by the Oppenheimer Blue diamond, which sold for $57.5 million at Christie's in Geneva last May. It has also become the highest price item ever sold at auction in Asia.

After bidding from three clients, the diamond was sold to jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook, who was on the telephone to Sotheby's Asia CEO Kevin Ching, for a hammer price of 490 million Hong Kong dollars ($63 million). The sale total was 553 million Hong Kong dollars once the buyer's premium was added.

The Pink Star was cut from a 132.5-carat rough diamond mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999. It took two years of meticulous cutting and polishing to hone it into its current oval shape.

It had been offered for sale before, achieving a record $83 million at Sotheby's Geneva in November 2013, but the buyer, New York-based diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, defaulted on his payment, leaving the stone to be added to the Sotheby's inventory.

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