"Pink Star" diamond sells for record $71.2 mln in bidding war

A rare "Pink Star" diamond is now the world's most expensive gem ever - selling for a record $71.2 million at auction on Tuesday.

If it's a good time to sell a colored diamond, then it's by definition a fantastic time to sell the Pink Star, since it's considered to be the most valuable polished diamond ever to be put up for auction. It surpassed the $60 million pre-sale estimate when Hong Kong jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook won the auction. "We're very happy", Wong said.

The oval-shaped, 59.60-carat diamond failed to sell in November 2013. We are very, very confident all three bidders had the financial capability and, of course, the buyer has the financial capability. That sale collapsed because the buyer, diamond-cutter Isaac Wolf, never paid, and the auction house had to reclaim the stone.

Sotheby's decided the time was right to bring the diamond back to the market because of rising demand from wealthy Asian buyers. It took two years for the cutting and the polishing of the diamond and it had been done from Steinmetz Diamonds owner of which is the Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz.

He plunked down 553 million Hong Kong dollars for the jewel, a price that included the buyer's premium.

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While Chow Tai Fook Jewellery is known mostly as mass jewelry brand, it has recently expanded into fine jewelry.

Asked why the stone didn't top the 2014 sale, Wong said, "I can't give a reason".

A giant pink diamond is expected to break records at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That was bought for almost 54 million euros. The price of the Pink Star diamond is estimated to more than $60 million.

The flawless vivid pink diamond described as "one of the world's great natural treasures" has also become the highest-priced item ever sold at an auction in Asia.

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