The “Pink Star” Diamond Buyer Defaults On Record Purchase

pink star

The world’s most famous pink diamond is, once again, searching for an owner after news came out Friday that the original auction bidder is not going to be able to complete the purchase.

The Pink Star, a 59.6 carat flawless oval cut pink diamond, is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.   It was originally mined by De Beers in 1999 in South Africa and weighed 132.5 carats in the rough.

Famed auction house Sotheby’s put the diamond on the block last November as part of their Magnificent Jewels auction.  There was a brisk five-minute bidding war for the stone and was eventually won by New York City diamond cutter Isaac Wolf.   The price for the stone ended up being $83.02 million, the highest auction selling price for a diamond ever.

In a conference call on Thursday, February 27, Sotheby’s said that they had to take the diamond back into their own inventory as the buyer had defaulted on the purchase.   The stone is currently listed with a value of $72 million.

“We are currently in discussions with the buyer, while also considering other alternatives,” Patrick McClymont, Sotheby’s CFO said on the call. “In the meantime, we are quite comfortable with our valuation, and see real value in owning the diamond at this price.”

Considering the Pink Star was originally estimated to sell at auction for around $61 million just five months ago, it looks like the colour diamond industry is still booming.

(Updated on March 14, 2014 with link to Rob Bates of JCK Magazine’s article on why the sale was cancelled )

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