Sotheby’s auctions 59.6 carat pink diamond for $71.2 million

A 59.6-carat diamond was auctioned for $71.2 million on Tuesday in Hong Kong, the highest auction price for any gem, auction house Sotheby’s said.

The Pink Star, a 59.6 carat pink diamond, was auctioned for a record $71.2 million on Tuesday in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of Sotheby's
The Pink Star, a 59.6 carat pink diamond, was auctioned for a record $71.2 million on Tuesday in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s

The pink diamond, known as the Pink Star, was sold to Hong Kong jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook after five minutes of bidding which included three bidders by telephone. The price is also the highest ever for a polished diamond, although it once was sold at a higher price; at a 2013 Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, it was sold to diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, who bid $83 million but defaulted on the purchase, leaving the auction house to offer it again.

The Pink Star took two years to cut from a rough diamond and was first exhibited in 2003. It’s been featured in exhibitions at Washington’s Smithsonian National Museum of National History and London’s Natural History Museum.

The winning bid Tuesday surpassed the auction record paid for a pink diamond, $46.16 million for the 24.78 Graff Pink, sold in 2010 in Geneva.

By Ed Adamczyk