Pink Star becomes most expensive gemstone sold at auction

epa03948242 (FILE) A file picture dated 24 October 2013 shows a model wearing the Pink Star diamond at Sotheby's auction house in London, Britain. The Pink Star, a 59.60 carat vivid pink diamond, is considered the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction. The jewel is expected to fetch USD 60 million at auction in Geneva on 13 November.  EPA/ANDY RAIN

At last night’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Sale in Hong Kong Sotheby’s set a new world auction record for any gemstone at auction as the Pink Star sold for more than $71m (£57m).

After five minutes of bidding the 59.60ct oval mixed-cut fancy vivid pink, internally flawless diamond, was acquired by renowned Hong Kong jeweller Chow Tai Fook, with the winning telephone bid place by Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shin, the chairman of the company.

This sale is more than double the previous record for a fancy vivid pink diamond and the highest price for any work ever sold at auction in Asia.

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The stone has renamed the stone the CTF Pink Star in memory of the late Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, father of the current chairman and founder of Chow Tai Fook, and commemorates the brand’s 88th anniversary.

The Pink Star was previously sold in Geneva in 2013 for $83m (£67m), but the buyer later defaulted. The record until now was held by the Oppenheimer Blue, which sold for £57m (£39m) last May.

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 (£45m).

“It is fitting that the owner of the most prestigious jeweller in Greater China should today break the record for the most valuable item ever sold in Asia as well as the most valuable diamond ever sold at auction – now appropriately named the CTF Pink Star,” says Sotheby’s president and chief exec Tad Smith, adding, “and Sotheby’s has been honoured and thrilled to serve this very discerning client for many years.”

The CTF Pink Star joins a number of outstanding stones in the collection of Chow Tai Fook including the Aurora Green, a 5.03-carat vivid green diamond acquired in 2016 for $16.8 million (£13m), an auction record for a green diamond, and the Cullinan Heritage, an exceptionally rare 507-carat rough diamond acquired for $35.3 million (£13m) in 2010 that was cut and polished over three years to create ‘A Heritage in Bloom’, a unique masterpiece of diamond jewellery.

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