The jewellery world is abuzz today with the news that a 59.60 carat Internally Flawless, Fancy Vivid Pink diamond sold at auction yesterday. It is the largest diamond of this grade that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded. The auction, by Sotheby’s, attracted three telephone bidders. After five minutes of intense bidding, the pink diamond sold to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises for US$71.2 million. That’s over $94 million Australian dollars! This beats previous sales of other rare diamonds. It sets the record as the highest price any gemstone has ever sold for.
Chow Tai Fook Enterprises is based in Hong Kong. It is one of the world’s largest jewellers, with shops in many countries, including over 2,000 shops in China alone. The company also has other businesses in a diverse range of areas, including property development, casinos, telecommunications and transportation.
Interestingly, the “Pink Star” was actually put up for auction in 2013 and the price it achieved was higher then. However, the purchaser, Isaac Wolf, a diamond cutter based in New York, was not able to pay the purchase price. So the stone remained with Sotheby’s. According to some reports, Sotheby’s vetted the three potential purchasers this time. Sotheby’s said they are sure that the current bidders would have no difficulty in carrying through with the purchase.
The Pink Star Pink Diamond Was Originally 132.5 Carats!
The Pink Star was mined by De Beers in Botswana in Southern Africa. As a rough stone it weighed 132.5 carats. The diamond was cut by Steinmetz Diamonds over a two year period. This process involved them casting it in epoxy more than 50 times, so the cutters could experiment with different cuts.
Helena Christensen modelled the pink diamond at it’s unveiling in Monaco in 2003. She wore an off the shoulder dress and the pink diamond, needing no adornment, hung simply from a fine necklace. I guess that is an experience that she won’t forget!
For more info on Australia’s amazingly beautiful pink diamonds, and the role the Argyle mine plays in the mining of this gemstone, click on the following link: pink diamonds.