Gigantic Pink Star diamond sells for $71 million in Hong Kong
A gigantic pink diamond known as The Pink Star has sold for a world record price at Sotheby's in Hong Kong.
The spectacular 59.60 carat, internally flawless diamond, achieved a price of HK$553,037,500, or $71.16 million (£57.19m) – making it the most expensive diamond ever sold.
The diamond was discovered by DeBeers in Africa in 1999, and was described as "one of the World’s Great Natural Treasures".
Originally weighing in at 132.50 carats, the rough diamond was then painstakingly cut and polished over a period of two years by Steinmetz Diamonds, who transformed it into a dazzling oval cut gem and named it the 'Steinmetz Pink’.
The stone had previously been seen by millions of people during two landmark exhibitions on either side of the Atlantic.
In the summer of 2003, the gem was part of the 'The Splendor of Diamonds' exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, alongside other legendary gems such as the Hope Diamond and the De Beers Millennium Star.
Then in 2006 it appeared as one of the star attractions in the 'Diamonds' exhibition held at the Natural History Museum in London, which attracted an estimated 10 million visitors during its five-month run.
In 2007 the diamond was mounted in a ring, and sold privately for an unknown amount, when it was renamed as 'The Pink Star'.
In 2013 The Pink Star came up for auction at Sotheby's in Geneva, where it sold for a world record price of $83.18 million.
However, the winning bidder - New York diamond cutter Isaac Wolf - reportedly defaulted on his payments, and the diamond was returned to the auction house.
Now four years on, The Pink Star has once more claimed the title of the world's most expensive jewel.
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