The Pink Star Diamond

Ray-LundinOn April 4, in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s set a new world auction record for any diamond or jewel when the Pink Star, a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut fancy pink flawless diamond, sold for $71.2 million. The Pink Star was acquired by renowned jeweller Chow Tai Fook, with the winning telephone bid placed by Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, chairman of the company. The Pink Star has been renamed CTF Pink Star in memory of the late Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, father of the current chairman and founder of Chow Tai Fook, and commemorates the esteemed brand’s 88th anniversary.

The CTF Pink Star is the largest pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded. It has received the highest color and clarity grades from the GIA for pink diamonds. It was cut by Steinmetz Diamonds over a period of nearly two years – a process in which the 132.50 carat rough was cast in epoxy more than 50 times in order to create models upon which the design team could experiment with different cuts in order to transform the stone into the remarkable flawless oval-cut Pink Star Diamond.

The diamond was mined by De Beers in 1999 in South Africa. It was first unvailed to the public in May 2003 as the “Steinmetz Pink,” and was modeled by Helena Christensen at a dedicated event thrown to coincide with the Monaco Grand Prix. Writing in the Finanacial Times on May 31, 2003, it was discribed as “the rarest, finest, most precious stone the world has ever seen.” The stone was first sold in 2007 and was renamed “The Pink Star.” In the same article, Tom Moses, executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer of the GIA, is quoted as saying: “It’s our experience that large polished pink diamonds – over 10 carats – very rarely occur with an intense color.  The GIA Laboratory has been issuing grading reports for 50 years and this is the largest pink diamond with this depth of color (vivid pink) that we have ever characterised.” pink-diamond

Of all fancy colored pink diamonds, those graded “Fancy Vivid” are the most precious and desirable. The current world auction record for a pink diamond is the Graff Pink, a superb 24.78 carat diamond which sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2010 for $46.16 million. Weighing in at 59.60 carats and graded as Fancy Vivid, the Pink Star is twice the size.

In the summer of 2003, this amazing gem was exhibited at “The Splendor of Diamonds” exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Displayed in the Winston Gallery alongside the 55.42 carat blue Hope Diamond, the exhibition featured seven of the world’s rarest and most extraordinary diamonds. Also on view for the first time in the United States was the 203.04 carat De Beers Millennium Star, one of the largest diamonds in the world; the Heart of Eternity blue diamond; the Moussaieff Red, the largest known red diamond in the world; the Harry Winston Pumpkin Diamond; the Allnatt, one of the world’s largest yellow diamonds at 101.29 carats; and the Ocean Dream, the world’s largest naturally occurring blue-green diamond. In the three months the exhibition ran, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History attracted more than 1.6 million visitors.

From July through November 2005, the Pink Star again took center stage, this time at the “Diamonds” exhibition held at the Natural History Museum, in London. For five months, the dazzling exhibition attracted approximately 70,000 visitors a day.

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