Published: Sat, April 08, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Pink diamond fetches record $71.2M in Hong Kong auction

Pink diamond fetches record $71.2M in Hong Kong auction

"Pink star" diamond has set a new record with its winning auction bid of $71mn in Hong Kong, beating Oppenheimer Blue which used to claim the top spot. That deal collapsed because buyer, diamond cutter Isaac Wolf failed to pay, and Sotheby's had to reclaim the stone. The stunning 59.6 carat diamond is known as "Pink Star". It is pure diamond perfection.

"The price has more than doubled the record for a fancy vivid pink diamond that we set just previous year in Geneva".

The supply demand equation for diamonds right now means diamonds are very much here to stay. The record until now was held by the Oppenheimer Blue, which sold for $50m last May. The jewel was sold at Christie's in Geneva in May 2016 fetching $57.5m (£46.2m).

The oval mixed-cut diamond was previously auctioned by Sotheby's in Geneva in 2013 for a record $83 million to NY diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, who failed to pay.

Bidding for the gem, which was found by De Beers at a mine in Africa in 1999 and cut over a period of two years, began at $56m.

A 12.03-carat "Blue Moon of Josephine" was bought for the then-record price of $48.4 million in Geneva by Hong Kong property tycoon Joseph Lau in 2015, a day after he spent $28.5 million on a rare 16.08-carat pink diamond.

"Fom what I've been hearing from members of the trade I've been talking to, in the last six months they have become more and more important", said David Bennett, Sotheby's chairman of the jewelry division, who noted the importance of the Asian element in the market.

It is the largest polished diamond in its class to go under the hammer.

It is not the first time the jeweller - which operates more than 2,300 retail outlets in Hong Kong, on the mainland and in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States - has spent a fortune on rare gemstones.

It also snapped up Cullinan Heritage in 2010, a 507-carat rough diamond, for HK$275 million. The diamond was bought by the British billionaire jeweller Laurence Graff.

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