AUCTIONS

Hong Kong jeweller paid record price for rare pink diamond as part of 88th anniversary celebrations

The gemstone was sold to Chow Tai Fook for a record HK$553 million

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 7:38pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 10:41pm

A “flawless” pink diamond was bought by Chow Tai Fook for a record HK$553 million as part of its 88th anniversary celebrations, Hong Kong’s largest jeweller confirmed on Wednesday.

The jeweller owned by the family of late tycoon Cheng Yu-tung renamed the Pink Star the “CTF Pink Star”.

One day after winning the bid over the phone at a Sotheby’s auction at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, there was keen interest over what would happen to the gem.

“We are delighted to have the “CTF Pink Star”, a 59.6-carat oval fancy vivid pink and internally flawless diamond, added to our rarest collection of jewellery masterpieces,” a Chow Tai Fook spokesman said.

The “fancy vivid” grade is given to the most precious and desirable pink diamonds, according to the website of auction house Sotheby’s.

“The ‘CTF Pink Star’, the largest polished diamond of its class, is a legend and full of heritage, something in common with our brand. We are excited to have this beautiful piece to celebrate along with our 88th anniversary this year,” the Chow Tai Fook statement said.

It is not the first time the jeweller – which operates more than 2,300 retail outlets in Hong Kong, on the mainland and in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States – has spent a fortune on rare gemstones.

Last year, the group acquired Aurora Green, a 5.03-carat fancy vivid green diamond, for HK$130 million. It was the biggest ever such gem to go under the hammer.

It also snapped up Cullinan Heritage in 2010, a 507-carat rough diamond, for HK$275 million. The giant stone was later cut into 24 smaller pieces for a necklace.

The Pink Star was initially sold in 2013 to a New York diamond cutter, who was acting on behalf of Ukrainian investors, for a record 68 million Swiss francs (HK$527 million).

But the deal fell through after his backers could not fund the transaction, forcing Sotheby’s to absorb the piece into its inventory.