"Pink Star" diamond sells for world record $83 million - Sotheby's

Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:39pm EST
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By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - The "Pink Star", a huge flawless pink diamond, sold for 76.3 million Swiss francs ($83.02 million) including commission fees in Geneva on Wednesday, a world record price for a gemstone at auction, Sotheby's said.

The oval-shaped diamond, mounted on a ring, weighed in at 59.60 carats. 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.

"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 Geneva salesroom.

Sotheby's said the final sale price included the "buyer's premium", or commission fees.

The Pink Star was the star lot at Sotheby's semi-annual jewelry sale in Geneva, held in a heavily-guarded hotel showroom, which followed strong Hong Kong auctions last month.

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."

The previous record was held by the "Graff Pink", a 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond bought by Laurence Graff, the London-based jeweler known as "The King of Diamonds", in 2010 for 45.44 million Swiss francs ($45.75 million at the time).

"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.   Continued...

Model Annabeth Murphy-Thomas poses with The Pink Star diamond at Sotheby's auction house in central London in this October 24, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Files