Rare pink diamond sells for R1 billion in Hong Kong

The winning bid was more than twice the estimated sale price.

A rare pink diamond has sold in Hong Kong for nearly $58 million, setting a record for price per carat paid at auction for any diamond or gemstone, according to Sotheby’s.

The 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star on Friday fetched HK$453.2 million (R1.04 billion), the second-highest price paid at auction for any jewel, Sotheby’s added.

The winning bid, by an undisclosed buyer from Boca Raton, Florida, was more than twice the estimated $21 million (R378.8 million) sale price.

The stone was the second-largest pink diamond to be sold at auction. Pink diamonds are the rarest of the precious gems and the most in-demand on the global market.

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The world record for a pink diamond was set in 2017, when a stone known as the CTF Pink Star was sold in Hong Kong for $71.2 million (R1.28 billion).

Friday’s sale “not only attests to the resilient demand for top quality diamonds in Asia, but a heightened awareness of the great scarcity of pink diamonds”, said Wenhao Yu, chairman of jewellery and watches at Sotheby’s Asia.

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The Williamson Pink Star was named after two other pink diamonds: the record-setting CTF Pink Star and the Williamson Stone, a 23.6-carat diamond given as a wedding present to Queen Elizabeth II in 1947.

Tobias Kormind, managing director of UK jewel retailer 77 Diamonds, said the “astounding” sale proved high-quality diamonds could still fetch major prices in a shaky economy.

“Hard assets such as world-class diamonds have a history of performing well even in times of instability,” he said.

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