Pink Star gem hits auction record
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