Hong Kong: Chow Tai Fook bought the Pink Star diamond for $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on Tuesday, making it the most valuable diamond sold at auction.
The oval, mixed-cut, 59.60-carat, fancy vivid pink, internally flawless diamond went for $1.2 million per carat following a brief bidding battle broadcast live on the auctioneer’s website.
The stone recaptured its title as the world’s most expensive diamond sold at auction, after diamond-cutter Isaac Wolf initially bought it for a record $83.2 million at Sotheby’s in November 2013. Wolf later defaulted, causing the deal to fall through.
Sotheby’s agreed to share ownership of the piece last year in a partnership with New York-based manufacturers Diacore and Mellen Diamonds. The auction house’s annual report in February 2014 recorded the diamond’s inventory value as $72 million.
The diamond originated from a 132.50-carat rough extracted by De Beers in 1999, and cut and polished by Steinmetz Diamonds. Originally called the Steinmetz Pink, it was renamed the Pink Star in 2007.
The previous world record-holder for a diamond sold at auction was the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, which fetched $57.5 million, or $3.9 million per carat, at a Christie’s auction in Geneva last May.
The headline sale immediately followed Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction in Hong Kong, which garnered $45.7 million (HKD 355 million). The most expensive item was an emerald-cut, 3.13-carat, fancy intense blue, internally flawless diamond flanked by two step-cut diamonds and a diamond-set oval band. The piece sold for $4.8 million (HKD 37.2 million).
Chow Tai Fook’s purchase comes after the Hong Kong-based jeweler spent $16.8 million (HKD 130 million) on the 5.03-carat Aurora Green diamond at a Christie’s auction last May. Christie’s described the stone as the world’s largest natural fancy vivid green diamond, and said both its total selling price and its per-carat price of $3.3 million were world records for a green diamond.