A rare 59.6 carat pink diamond described as “one of the world’s great natural treasures” has become the most expensive jewel ever sold, going for more than $71 million at auction in Hong Kong.Bidding for the gem, which was found by De Beers at a mine in Africa in 1999, began at $56 million.
According to the Sotheby's auction house, the precious stone, which is the size of a plum, was bought after just five minutes' bidding. It was acquired by local jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook.
Sotheby's worldwide chairman for international jewelry David Bennet, who presided over the auction, called it a "historic sale."
Biggest diamond for sale in century fails to find buyer at Sotheby's auction https://t.co/1Zdzw76DwzJune 30, 2016
The Pink Star’s sale comes three years after it had apparently fetched $83 million at another Sotheby's auction in Geneva. That deal collapsed because buyer, diamond cutter Isaac Wolf failed to pay, and Sotheby's had to reclaim the stone.
The oval-shaped diamond dethroned the “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond, which was sold for $58 million in May at Christie's.