A rare diamond called the Pink Star was sold in Hong Kong for more than $71m (£57m), establishing a brand new world record for just about any gemstone at auction. Estimated in excess of US$60 million this 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut pink diamond is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded. and the most valuable cut diamond ever offered at auction, according to Sotheby's. The buyer was Hong Kong jeweler Chow Tai Fook, with the winning telephone bid placed by their Chairman, Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, who has renamed the stone The CTF Pink.
Chinese jewelry behemoth Chow Tai Fook Jewellery was revealed as the buyer of the almost 60-carat stone, edging out two other bidders over the phone.
The jewellery group is chaired by Henry Cheng, whose family is ranked third on Forbes' Hong Kong rich list with $17.9 billion. Sotheby's presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and two retail businesses, Sotheby's Diamonds and Sotheby's Wine.
The near-translucent rock was renamed after it was first sold four years later for an undisclosed sum to an unidentified buyer. However, the gem was reclaimed by Sotheby's after the buyer, New York-based diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, defaulted on the deal.
Sotheby's tried a new city for the Pink Star this time around.
"We're very, very confident that all three bidders had the financial capability, and of course the buyer definitely had the financial capability", she said.
Sotheby's had previously said Hong Kong was the right place for the sale. "So today Hong Kong has proven itself to be again the worldwide sale centre".
This led to Sotheby's owning the diamond for several years.