published Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Pink diamond sold for more than $83 million

  • photo
    A Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, photo from files showing an unidentified Sotheby's employee displaying "The Pink Star" diamond weighing 59.6 carat, during a preview at Sotheby's, in Geneva, Switzerland.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

GENEVA — An enormous diamond known as "The Pink Star" sold for more than $83 million at auction Wednesday night, far surpassing its expected price.

Sotheby's says the sale the vivid and flawless 59.60-carat pink diamond is the highest price ever paid for a gemstone at auction.

Prior to the sale to the successful bidder, representing an anonymous buyer, the diamond was estimated to fetch more than $60 million. The bidding opened above $52 million, and it closed with the playing of the "Pink Panther" movie's theme music.

The exact sale price of "The Pink Star" was 76.325 million Swiss francs, or $83.425 million. It had been introduced prior to the bidding as "one of the most remarkable gems ever to appear at auction."

The diamond is graded as a Type IIa, a rarity for a pink diamond, and it took Steinmetz Diamonds two years to cut it to form from a 132.5-carat rough diamond.

It was first shown publicly in May 2003 as the "Steinmetz Pink," then sold privately for the first time in 2007 when it was renamed "The Pink Star."

The sale in Geneva came a day after the largest fancy vivid orange diamond ever sold at auction went for $35.5 million at a Christie's auction.

The auctions at Geneva's lakeside hotels draw well-heeled buyers from around the world seeking expensive jewels, artwork, wine and watches.

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