The world's most valuable pink diamond has been sold at a Sotheby's auction for a world record price of US$71.2 million in Hong Kong. As Sonia Legg reports, the largest and most vivid pink diamond was bought by a Hong Kong-based jewellery after a five-minute bidding war between three phone bidders.
It's pink and flawless and clearly much in demand despite a whopping price tag. Three phone bidders took part in a five minute bidding war for 'The Pink Star'. Hong Kong based jeweller Chow Tai Fook eventually secured the 59.6 carat diamond for a record $71.2 million. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF SOTHEBY'S ASIA, PATTI WONG, SAYING: "We're very happy because I know there was a lot of talk about the economy in China not being as positive as it was a few years ago. I think today's results, whether throughout the sale in white diamonds in gemstones and in colour diamonds in particular, were very strong. So today Hong Kong has proven itself to be again the international sales centre." The last time the gem came up for auction, New York diamond cutter Isaac Wolf agreed to pay $83 million. But he defaulted. This time Sotheby's was taking no chances. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF SOTHEBY'S ASIA, PATTI WONG, SAYING: "All three bidders were vetted and have long standing relationships with the company and we were very, very confident that all three bidders had the financial capability and of course the buyer definitely had the financial capability." The diamond was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999 and took two years to cut and polish. It's now the world's most expensive gemstone and the highest price item ever sold at auction in Asia.