Sotheby's Announces 'Pink Star' Sale

At a presentation to the press in London on Monday, Sotheby’s announced that the ‘Pink Star’, a 59.60ct diamond, will once again hit the auction block in Hong Kong on April 4. The oval mixed-cut pink stone is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded.

This remarkable stone first tested the market in November 2013, when it was the final lot of Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction that month. During the closely watched sale, which I was viewing on the live stream with great interest, the price quickly climbed and climbed beyond the estimate with the final price of $83 million hitting the news around the world.

What was thought to be a new world record for a gemstone at auction wasn’t to be, however. The top bid was placed by diamond-cutter Isaac Wolfe, who was said to be backed by a group of investors, but it was revealed in Sotheby’s 2014 annual report that the buyers had defaulted.

Sotheby’s had guaranteed the lot to the tune of $60 million and so it paid that to the seller and the gem became part of their inventory. In June 2016 it was announced that Diacore (who bought the 132.50ct rough mined in 1999 and cut it to today’s form) and Mellen Inc. had acquired an ownership interest alongside the auction house.

Currently, the world record for a vivid pink diamond is held by the Graff Pink, a 24.78ct stone that sold for $46.2 million in 2010 and the record for any diamond is held by the 14.62ct Oppenheimer Blue, which sold for $57.5 million in May 2016.

Sotheby’s has valued the Pink Star at $72 million, though the estimate both in 2013 and today is $60 million. As the saying goes, something is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. On April 4 in Hong Kong the world may finally know what this one-of-a-kind gem is ‘worth’.

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Auction - April 4, 2017. More Information.