Pink Star gem hits auc­tion record

CityPress - - News -

The most ex­pen­sive jewel in the world was sold this week for an eye-wa­ter­ing record price of R983 mil­lion.

The pink di­a­mond, known as the Pink Star, was mined in South Africa, but no South African is likely to af­ford it – es­pe­cially af­ter this week’s down­grade to “junk” sta­tus.

The di­a­mond, which was cut over a pe­riod of two years, was sold by auc­tion house Sotheby’s in Hong Kong this week. It ex­ceeded it’s pre­sale es­ti­mate of R828 mil­lion. Three peo­ple com­peted for five min­utes by phone to try to out­bid each other.

Un­til now, the most ex­pen­sive di­a­mond auc­tioned was the Op­pen­heimer Blue, which was sold for R796 mil­lion in May.

The Pink Star had pre­vi­ously gone for an even higher price in Geneva, but the sale fell through when the buyer couldn’t come up with the cash.

The di­a­mond was mined by De Beers in 1999 as a raw 132.5-carat stone.

Metro.co.uk re­ports that the gem is the largest flaw­less fancy – that’s a real tech­ni­cal term – vivid pink di­a­mond graded by the Ge­mo­log­i­cal In­sti­tute of Amer­ica.

Sotheby’s Asia chair Patti Wong named the win­ning bid­der as Hong Kong jew­eller Chow Tai Fook.

“We’re very happy,” Wong said. “I know there was a lot of talk about the econ­omy in China not be­ing as pos­i­tive as it was a few years ago, but the results from its jew­ellery auc­tion on Tues­day, which in­cluded nearly 200 other lots, were very strong.”

Wong said the com­pany was not wor­ried about the new buyer be­ing able to come up with the money be­cause all the bid­ders were vet­ted and have long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ships with the auc­tion house.

“We’re con­fi­dent that all three bid­ders had the fi­nan­cial ca­pa­bil­ity and, of course, the buyer def­i­nitely had the fi­nan­cial ca­pa­bil­ity,” she said.

Staff re­porter –

The Pink Star di­a­mond was sold on auc­tion in Hong Kong this week

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