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Pink diamond auctioned for record £57.2m in Hong Kong

Pink diamond auctioned for record £57.2m in Hong Kong

The "Pink Star" has become the world's most expensive cut diamond ever sold at auction fetching $71.2 million at a Sotheby's sale on Tuesday.

The Gemological Institute of America reported that it's the largest diamond ever graded.

The stunning 59.60-carat diamond was sold to jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook, who phoned in his bid to Sotheby's in Hong Kong, the Telegraph reported.

Also called the Steinmetz Pink, after the billionaire whose organization was responsible for cutting it down from 132.5 carats, Pink Star was mined by the De Beers mining corporation in 1999. David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's jewelry division, said: "The extraordinary size of this 59.60-carat diamond, paired with its richness of color, surpasses any known pink diamond recorded in history".

"Of course, the buyer definitely has the financial capability", Wong told reporters, adding all three bidders were vetted and had a longstanding relationship with the auction house. In 2013, it was declared that the buyer could not afford the price and the diamond was put back in Sotheby's inventory. That sale collapsed because the buyer, diamond-cutter Isaac Wolf, never paid, and Sotheby's had to reclaim the stone. Previous year it sold an unspecified stake in the diamond, valued at $72 million on its balance sheet, to two companies, diamond specialist Diacore and NY jeweler Mellen Inc.

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The starting price was some $51.6 mln and the auction lasted for six minutes.

The stone was first sold in 2007 and was subsequently renamed "The Pink Star".

Its predecessor was the Pink Graff, which auctioned in November 2010 for a mere $46.16 million. In 2016 they bought a $17-million green diamond at an auction run by Sotheby competitor Christie's.

The Pink Star was estimated to be worth more than $60 million.

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