most expensive diamond

Most expensive diamond

The most expensive diamond ever sold is the legendary Pink Star diamond, which shattered records when it was auctioned off for a staggering $71.2 million at Sotheby's in Hong Kong in 2017.

This incredible 59.60-carat fancy vivid pink diamond is truly one of the rarest and most valuable gemstones in the world.

The story behind the most expensive diamond ever sold >

The most expensive diamond ever sold is the legendary Pink Star diamond, which shattered records when it was auctioned off for a staggering $71.2 million at Sotheby's in Hong Kong in 2017. This incredible 59.60-carat fancy vivid pink diamond is truly one of the rarest and most valuable gemstones in the world.

The Pink Star's story begins at a mine in Africa in 1999, where it was extracted as a crude 132.5-carat rough diamond. It was subsequently cut and polished over a period of nearly two years by the finest diamond cutters, eventually taking its distinctive emerald shape and revealing its extraordinary color and brilliance.

After its transformation, the Pink Star immediately drew immense interest and admiration in the diamond world. In 2003, it was first unveiled to the public and dubbed the "Steinmetz Pink" after the diamond cutter who acquired it. Over the next few years, it toured prestigious museums and diamond exhibitions around the world, allowing thousands to witness its breathtaking beauty.

In 2007, the Steinmetz Pink was renamed the Pink Star and put up for auction at Sotheby's in London, where it failed to meet its immense reserve price. This launched a decade-long journey as the diamond's ownership changed hands multiple times among ultra-wealthy investors and collectors entranced by its perfection.

Finally, in 2017 in Hong Kong, the Pink Star was announced as the new title holder for the most expensive gemstone ever sold at auction when it was snatched up by renowned jewelry firm Chow Tai Fook for the record-shattering price of $71.2 million. This sale cemented the Pink Star's place in diamond history as an exceptional treasure of unprecedented value.

How much did the world's most expensive diamond cost >

The world's most expensive diamond ever sold at auction is the legendary Pink Star diamond, which commanded an incredible $71.2 million when it went under the hammer at Sotheby's in Hong Kong in 2017. This staggering sale price for the 59.60-carat fancy vivid pink diamond shattered the previous record for the most expensive gemstone by nearly $20 million.

To put the Pink Star's astronomical value into perspective, the previous record was held by the famous Oppenheimer Blue diamond, which sold for $57.6 million in 2016. Before that, the most expensive purple-pink diamond ever sold was the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Pink, which went for $51.6 million in 2013.

While $71.2 million is an astonishing sum to pay for a diamond, collectors and investors alike pursuit the rarest, largest, and most vividly colored examples of these gemological marvels. The Pink Star ticks all of those boxes, ranking among the largest pink diamonds ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America, displaying a gorgeous fancy vivid pink color, and boasting exceptional optical transparency.

The immense sale price for the Pink Star equates to nearly $1.2 million per carat, further driving home its exceptional rarity and value in the ultra-high-end collector's market. To put it simply, when dealing with the absolute finest examples of nature's gemstone treasures, prices can easily reach eight figures and beyond when the world's wealthiest pursue the privilege of ownership.

Where was the world's most expensive diamond discovered >

The world's most expensive diamond ever sold, the legendary 59.60-carat Pink Star, has its origins in one of Africa's most prolific diamond-producing regions. While the exact mine has not been officially disclosed, experts believe the original 132.5-carat rough diamond was likely extracted from either the Cullinan or Premier mines in South Africa in 1999.

The Cullinan mine, located near the town of Cullinan about 40km northeast of Pretoria, is one of the most famous diamond mines in history. It's best known as the source of the largest rough diamond ever discovered - the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond - as well as many other highly valuable and rare colored diamonds over its century-plus of operations.

Not far away, the Premier Mine (now known as the Cullinan Diamond Mine after being renamed in 2003) in Gauteng Province has an equally storied history dating back to 1902 when it begun large-scale open-pit mining operations. Premier is regarded as one of the world's top sources of blue diamonds and has yielded several extraordinary gemstones in its lifetime.

While the exact origins of the Pink Star's rough diamond remain confidential, these two historic South African mines situated in the Gauteng and Limpopo provinces are seen as the most likely sources given their pedigree for producing some of the planet's most valuable diamonds, especially the rare and coveted colored varieties like pinks, blues, and yellows.

Regardless of which specific mine shaft hosted the original diamond crystallization process hundreds of millions of years ago, the Pink Star's ultimate emergence into human hands cemented its status as one of Earth's greatest natural treasures.

Who purchased the world's most expensive diamond >

The record-shattering $71.2 million purchase of the 59.60-carat Pink Star diamond in 2017 was made by Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, one of the world's most prestigious jewelry companies based in Hong Kong. The auction-winning bid at Sotheby's Hong Kong essentially tripled the previous record price paid for a diamond or gemstone.

Chow Tai Fook is a nearly 100-year-old firm founded in 1929 in Guangzhou, China. Over the decades, it has grown into a renowned global brand with over 3,600 jewelry stores across Greater China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and the United States. Known for its exceptionally high-quality and unique jewelry, the company has built a strong reputation among ultra-high-net-worth collectors.

By placing the $71.2 million winning bid, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery exhibited its dominance in the very upper echelons of the colored diamond market. The immense sum paid - equating to nearly $1.2 million per carat - illustrates just how valuable and coveted the extraordinary Pink Star is with its sensational fancy vivid pink color grading and immense size of nearly 60 carats.

While the specific customer who will take ownership of the record-setting Pink Star has not been disclosed, the buyer is undoubtedly one of the world's most discerning collectors and investors with a keen eye for perfect, museum-quality natural treasures. The purchase represents not just the acquisition of the most valuable gemstone ever sold, but ensures this diamond's incredible journey and story continues to captivate the world for generations.

How does the world's most expensive diamond compare to other famous diamonds >

The Pink Star, which currently holds the title of the world's most expensive diamond ever sold at $71.2 million, stands apart from other famous diamonds in several key ways:

Firstly, at 59.60 carats, the Pink Star is one of the largest modern pink diamonds ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. Its sheer size dwarfs other celebrated pink diamonds like the 24.78-carat Graff Pink sold for $46.2 million in 2010 and the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Pink that went for $51.6 million in 2013.

Additionally, the Pink Star earned the coveted "fancy vivid" color grading from GIA, the highest ranking for intensity of color. This rich, vibrant pink hue is extremely rare in natural diamonds of any size, let alone one pushing 60 carats. Pink diamonds often face a tradeoff between size and color saturation, making the Pink Star's depth of color over such a large carat weight all the more extraordinary.

In terms of transparency and clarity, the Pink Star is also a remarkable gemological specimen. It displays optimal optical characteristics with minimal flaws or imperfections in its chemical composition, heightening its brilliance, fire, and value.

When compared to other famous colored diamonds like the Oppenheimer Blue that sold for $57.6 million or the orange Ming Dynasty Cushion Diamond that fetched $35.7 million, the Pink Star stands apart as the most valuable by sheer numbers. However, its incredible size, vibrancy of color, and overall rarity as a large fancy vivid pink diamond are what truly distinguish it as one of the most prized gemstones in modern history.

How did the world's most expensive diamond get its name

The Pink Star diamond, which sold for a record-shattering $71.2 million in 2017, initially went by a different name when it was first unveiled over 15 years ago. Originally, this stunning 59.60-carat fancy vivid pink diamond was called the "Steinmetz Pink" after the diamond cutter who acquired the original 132.5-carat rough stone and meticulously cut and polished it into its current emerald shape over nearly two years in the early 2000s.

The story begins in 1999 when the original rough diamond was discovered in Africa, likely from either the prestigious Cullinan or Premier mines in South Africa, two of the continent's most prolific sources of valuable colored diamonds over the past century. At the time, not much was known about this gigantic 132.5-carat rough except that it contained a distinctive pink hue that hinted at its potential to become something incredibly rare and special.

After being extracted, the rough stone was purchased by the Steinmetz Group, a renowned diamond cutting and distribution company based in Belgium and run by the billionaire Steinmetz family of diamond traders. Under their guidance, a team of master diamond cutters took on the painstaking process of analyzing, plotting, and ultimately cutting and polishing the rough into a classic emerald-cut shape to best highlight its pink color and exceptional transparency.

When the cutting was finally completed in 2003, the result was breathtaking - a 59.60-carat fancy vivid pink diamond of immense size and richly saturated color unlike practically anything the diamond world had ever witnessed before. To commemorate this achievement, the Steinmetz Group christened their prize with the name "Steinmetz Pink" as it made its debut on a global tour visiting museums and prestigious diamond exhibitions.

Over the next few years, the Steinmetz Pink captivated the world and drew immense interest from wealthy collectors entranced by its exceptional size, color, and rarity. It was first put up for auction at Sotheby's in London in 2007 carrying an estimate of $48-60 million but did not meet its immense reserve price.

After changing ownership multiple times in the ensuing decade, the diamond was finally rebranded and renamed the "Pink Star" when it returned to the Sotheby's auction block in Hong Kong in 2017. It was at this sale that the Pink Star truly etched its name into the history books, smashing the previous record for most expensive gemstone ever sold by achieving the astronomical sum of $71.2 million.

While it spent many years known as the Steinmetz Pink in homage to the diamantaire family that first transformed it from an incredible rough into a transcendent final gemstone, the Pink Star ultimately received a name as unique and distinctive as the diamond itself to match its record-shattering $71.2 million sale price and one-of-a-kind rarity. Today, the Pink Star name is forever associated with this unparalleled treasure that ranks among the most valuable gemstones the world has ever known.

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