The Pink Star was mined by De Beers in 1999 in South Africa and weighed 132.5 carat in the rough.
In a quirk of auction history, the record price for the Pink Star is some $12 million lower than the $83-million offer Sotheby's adjudicated it for in 2013.
The final price was 553 million Hong Kong dollars, including the buyer's premium, or auction house charge. "The market for the world's finest diamonds and gem stones remains buoyant and Sotheby's Hong Kong is honored to present at auction the Pink Star this spring following these world records".
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"The Asian element in the jewelry market is extremely important and from what I've been hearing from members of the trade I've been talking to, in the last six months they have become more and more important", said David Bennett, chairman of the auction house's jewelry division. However, the deal fell apart after the buyer, New York-based diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, defaulted.
Chow Tai Fook, founded in 1929, is the world's largest jeweller, operating more than 2 000 jewellery and watch stores throughout greater China. The stone was then worn by Danish model Helena Christensen around her neck to exhibit to the public for the first time in Monaco in 2003.
Its predecessor was the Pink Graff, which auctioned in November 2010 for a mere $46.16 million. The uncut stone was expected to go for at least $70 million, but failed to find a buyer.
Pink Star is worth it, says the Gemological Institute of America.