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.
The 59.60-carat “Pink Star” is the largest in its class ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
“Sotheby’s Hong Kong is very proud to have this record,” its Asia chairman Patti Wong told AFP, adding this was a new world auction record for any type of jewel.
Sotheby’s worldwide chairman for international jewellery David Bennet, who presided over the auction, called it a “historic sale”.
Bidding started at around $56 million. The sale lasted for five minutes before the winning offer came from a phone bidder and prompted a round of applause.
The sparkling oval-cut rock measures 2.69 by 2.06 centimetres (1.06 by 0.81 inches) and weighs 11.92 grams (0.026 pounds).
It was discovered in a mine in Africa by De Beers in 1999.
At a previous auction, in Geneva in 2013, the stone fetched $83 million.
But Sotheby’s was forced to take back the flawless diamond after that buyer, a New York-based diamond cutter, defaulted on the sale.
The previous record for a jewel successfully sold at auction was $57.54 million in May 2016 for the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue” sold by Christie’s in Geneva.