Pink Star Fetches $71.2 Million, Setting New Record for Jewel at Auction

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This evening in Hong Kong, Sotheby's (NYSE: BID) set a new world auction record for any diamond or jewel when The Pink Star, a 59.60-carat oval fancy vivid pink and internally flawless diamond, sold for $71.2 million.

The sale gives the auction house some respite after it failed to sell other major gems last year, including the biggest rough diamond found in more than 100 years and a blue diamond ring that once belonged to Hollywood actress Shirley Temple.

It took diamond company Steinmetz Diamond nearly two years to cut the rough stone, which was discovered in 1999 by workers mining on behalf of De Beers in Botswana.

November 2013: The "largest vivid orange diamond in the world", according to Christie's, attracted the highest price paid per carat for any diamond at auction, selling for $35m (£22m), or $2.4m (£1.5m) per carat.

The auction house was then forced to buy the diamond itself because had guaranteed a $60 million sale price.

Until now, the previous world auction record for a pink diamond was 46.2 million US dollars for the 24.78 carat "The Graff Pink" in 2010.

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Oppenheimer Blue was previously the most expensive jewel sold at auction.

"At a time of unprecedented demand for the finest in coloured diamonds, I am delighted to be bringing this magnificent stone back to the market". It took two years for the cutting and the polishing of the diamond and it had been done from Steinmetz Diamonds owner of which is the Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz. That was bought for almost 54 million euros.

The stone was first sold in 2007 and was subsequently renamed "The Pink Star".

The pink diamond, known as the Pink Star, was sold to Hong Kong jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook after five minutes of bidding which included three bidders by telephone.

It has also been displayed at the Natural History Museum in London.