Williamson Pink Star: rare diamond sells for $49.9m in Hong Kong auction

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Arare, fancy, bright pink diamonds have set a new world record of the highest price per carat for diamonds sold at auction.

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The 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star sold for $49.9 million at an auction in Hong Kong on Friday. This jewel was bought by an unknown buyer.

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Certified as "intrinsically flawless" and "fancy vivid" – the highest grade of coloured diamond available – the piece sold by Sotheby's is named after another pink stone gifted to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

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The gemstone, which emerged from a rough 32-carat diamond at the Williamson Diamond Mine in Tanzania, was on display in Sotheby's Dubai in September, where experts predicted it would sell for over $21 million.

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The final asking price received in Hong Kong was more than double those estimates – the total selling price of the diamond was shy, including only $50m, or $57.73m auction fee.

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Wenho Yu, Sotheby's president of jewellery and watches in Asia, said: "The discovery of gemstone-quality pink diamonds of any size is an extremely rare phenomenon.

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Driven by limited supply and rising demand, prices of large pink diamonds with more than 5 carats of high quality have risen sharply over the past decade, setting the scene surprisingly.

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Only two fancy bright pink diamonds are known to be bigger than this, and only one of them has ever appeared at auction.

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The CTF Pink Star, an oval-shaped fancy vivid pink stone weighing 59.60 carats, was sold at auction for $71.2m in April 2017, setting a world record for "most expensive diamonds".

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