"Pink Star" diamond sells for world record $83 million at auction

ANDY RAIN / EPA
The Pink Star, a 59.60 carat vivid pink diamond, fetched a world record $83.02 million at auction in Geneva on Wednesday.

The "Pink Star," a huge flawless pink diamond, sold for a world record $83 million at auction in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, the auction house Sotheby's said.

"Ladies and gentlemen, 68 million (Swiss francs) is the world record bid for a diamond ever bid and it's right here," Sotheby's David Bennett said to applause as he brought down the hammer in the salesroom.

The final bid for the oval-shaped diamond, mounted on a ring and weighing 59.60 carats, was for 68 million Swiss francs or $73.99 million.

Sotheby's said the final sale price, including the "buyer's premium," or commission fees, was 76.3 million Swiss francs, or $83.02 million. It was bought by a man bidding in the room, who told reporters that he was buying it on behalf of an anonymous person whom he represented, and would not give his own name.

The auctioneer, Bennett, noting that its pre-sale estimate was $61 million, told reporters: "It surpassed our estimate. It's a large amount of money in itself but I don't think this stone has a price."

Wednesday's sale price exceeded the previous record by the "Graff Pink," a 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond bought by Laurence Graff, the London-based jeweller known as "The King of Diamonds", at a 2010 auction for 45.44 million Swiss francs ($45.75 million then). 

"Frankly when I sold the Graff 3 years ago, I thought it would be a record for a very long time. Tonight's price is really quite extraordinary three years later," Bennett said.

The "Pink Star" was cut and polished from a 132.5 carat rough diamond mined by De Beers somewhere in Africa in 1999, according to Sotheby's, which said it had no information on the exact geographic origin. 

The stone, mounted on a ring, was first sold in 2007 and the current owner remains anonymous. 

Bennett said in September that the vivid pink diamond is "of immense importance" because of its extraordinary size and exceptionally rich color that surpass all others known to exist in government, royal or private collections.

It is "simply off any scale, and passes, I believe, into the ranks of the earth's greatest natural treasures."

Eric Valdieu, a former Christie's jewel expert now of Valdieu Fine Arts, recalls seeing the "Pink Star" displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington in 2003. 

"The buyers of a stone like this are very few, international fortunes in Latin America, Asia or the Middle East," he said. 

Signature pieces by top-end European jewelers including Cartier, Bulgari and Van Cleef & Arpels fetched strong prices at Wednesday's auction, especially from the Art Deco period of the 1930s.

Few lots were stranded on the block and many that sold soared many times over their pre-sale estimate.

Sotheby's sale of magnificent jewels also realized the highest jewelry sale total for a single auction in history - $199.5 million, according to the auction house.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Vincent Yu / AP

    Image:

    Giant gems with high prices

    A rare pink diamond sold for a record $83 million at auction on Nov. 13, but it's hardly the only gem that's sold for millions. Take a look at other big pieces of bling, from a diamond worn by Marie de Medici to a brilliant orange stone bought for $36 million.

  • Image: Pink star diamond offered at auction

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    The Pink Star -

    A model wears the Pink Star diamond at Sotheby's auction house in London on Oct. 24, 2013. The Pink Star, a 59.60-carat vivid pink diamond, is considered the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction. The jewel fetched a world record $83 million in Geneva on Nov. 13, 2013.

    EPA / EPA
  • Image: Fancy Deep Blue diamond: new record

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Deep blue diamond -

    A Sotheby's employee displays a fancy deep blue diamond containing 10.48 carats during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland. The diamond was sold for $10.86 million during a Sotheby's auction sale on Nov. 14, 2012 — a new record at auction for a deep blue diamond.

    EPA / EPA
  • Image: Rare 52 Carat White Diamond Amongst Jewels To Go On Sale At Sothebys

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    White diamond -

    A Sotheby's employee holds a rare 52.82-carat white diamond ring at Sotheby's auction house on April 12, 2010 in London. The ring sold for $8,553,345 at the Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale, which took place on May 11, 2010 at Sotheby's in Geneva.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Largest Flawless White Diamond Up For Auction

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Record breaker -

    A Sotheby's employee holds the largest D color, flawless, type IIa white oval diamond to come to auction on Sept. 9, 2013 in London. The 118.28-carat stone sold for a record $30.8 million at the Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale in Hong Kong on Oct. 7, 2013.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Christie's Previews Famed Annenberg Diamond, Other Jewels

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Annenberg diamond -

    The Annenberg diamond is displayed during a press preview of Christie's fall jewel sale on Oct. 16, 2009 in New York City. The flawless 32.01-carat diamond, mounted as a ring and flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds weighing 1.5 and 1.61 carats, sold for $7.7 million at auction.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: An employee poses with a 24.78 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond at Sotheby's in Geneva

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Fancy pink diamond -

    An employee poses with a 24.78-carat fancy intense pink diamond at Sotheby's in Geneva November 10, 2010. The diamond, mounted as a ring, fetched $46,158,674 when it was auctioned by Sotheby's as part of its Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on Nov. 16, 2010.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: SWITZERLAND-AUCTION-DIAMOND

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    The Orange -

    A model shows The Orange, a 14.82-carat pear-shaped, vivid orange diamond, during a press preview on Oct. 31, 2013 in Geneva. The largest known orange diamond in the world was auctioned by Christie's in the Swiss city of Geneva on Nov. 12, 2013, where it sold for $36 million.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image: Johnson, manager of Rio Tinto's Argyle Pink Diamonds, holds the Argyle 'Phoenix' red diamond during a private viewing at a Sydney hotel

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Rare red diamond -

    Josephine Johnson, manager of Rio Tinto's Argyle Pink Diamonds, holds the Argyle Phoenix red diamond, one of the world's rarest gems, during a private viewing at a Sydney hotel on May 17, 2013. The Phoenix, which sold for $2 million in October, is included in the 2013 Argyle Diamond collection, named after Rio Tinto's Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia where they were found.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Premier Blue -

    A 7.59-carat, internally flawless, fancy vivid blue diamond is displayed at Sotheby's auction house in New York on Sept. 4, 2013. The Premier Blue, the world's largest round fancy blue diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America, was expected to sell for as much as $19 million during an auction in Hong Kong in October, but did not find a buyer.

    AP, Reuters / AP, Reuters
  • Image:

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Pink jubilee -

    This 12.76-carat pink diamond -- the largest of the rare and precious stones ever found in Australia -- is named the Argyle Pink Jubilee. The rough stone was found at Rio's pink diamond operations in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and takes 10 days to cut and polish in Perth.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image:

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Tiffany diamond -

    A woman holds the highly transparent 19.72-carat rectangular-cut diamond ring by the famed Tiffany jewelry house on April 30, 2004. Part of a collection of jewelry owned by late American tobacco heiress Doris Duke, the ring sold for $1.2 million at Christie's auction house in Rome on June 2.

    AP / AP
  • Image:

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Princie diamond -

    This rare pink diamond, nicknamed the Princie diamond, sold for $39.3 million to an anonymous buyer at a Christie's auction on April 16, 2013 in New York City. The price for the diamond was the second-highest ever for a jewel sold at auction.

    AP / AP
  • Image:

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Sun-drop diamond -

    A model displays a 110.03-carat sun-drop diamond described as fancy vivid yellow, the highest color grading by gemstone experts, at a Sotheby's preview show in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the world's largest known yellow diamond and sold at auction for over $10.9 million on Nov. 15, 2001.

    AP / AP
  • Image:

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Flawless diamond -

    A gloved hand holds one of the largest diamonds ever to come up for auction in London's Sotheby's auctioneers on Oct. 7, 2003. It is graded a D color and is internally flawless — making it one of the most valuable types of diamond. Weighing 103.83 carats, it was expected to fetch up to $6 million at auction.

    AP / AP
  • Image: diamond

    Giant gems with high prices

    of

    Beau de Sancy -

    This is the 35-carat, pear-shaped diamond that Marie de Medici wore at her coronation in 1610. It sold for $9.7 million at auction in Geneva on May 15, 2012. The stone, called the Beau de Sancy, gets its name from diamond collector Nicolas Harley de Sancy, who bought it in Constantinople, now Istanbul, in the late 16th century. Passed down through the royal families of France, England, Prussia and the Netherlands, the diamond has witnessed 400 years of European history.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images


0:00
 
0:00
Your video begins in
0:00
TOP