'Pink Star' diamond sells for record $71.2 million in bidding war

Auction house Sotheby's (BID) has sold a giant pink diamond for $71.2 million in Hong Kong on Tuesday, setting a world record for the most expensive diamond or jewel to be sold at an auction. A 24.78-carat Graff Pink sold for $46.2 million at Sotheby's Geneva in 2010.

The Pink Star was also part of the "Diamonds" exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London in 2005.

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.

May 2016: A large diamond known as the Oppenheimer Blue set a new auction record, reaching a price of $50.6m (£34.7m at the exchange rate then current).

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The 59.6-carat Pink Star, the largest in its class ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America, was sold to the city's Chow Tai Fook jewellery chain. In 2013, it was declared that the buyer could not afford the price and the diamond was put back in Sotheby's inventory.

The Pink Star gem took nearly two years to cut after being discovered in Botswana in 1999. The Pink Star has been renamed "The CTF Pink" in memory of the late Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, father of the current chairman and founder of Chow Tai Fook, and commemorates the esteemed brand's 88 anniversary.

The auction is a world record for the price that this diamond has been sold as never a gem has been sold at so much high price. Tobias Kormind of 77 Diamonds, an online diamond jewelery seller, said he expects it to sell for more than $100 million. Past year it sold an unspecified stake in the diamond to two companies, diamond specialist Diacore and NY jeweller Mellen Inc.

  • Rita Burton