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RECORD-BREAKING BID: Is this the real 'Pink Panther' that sold for $83 million?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 15th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Beyond gorgeous - and almost beyond price, the "Pink Star," a huge flawless pink diamond, sold for a world record-breaking $83 million at auction in Geneva. "Ladies and gentlemen, 68 million (Swiss francs) is the world record bid for a diamond ever bid and it's right here," Sotheby's David Bennett said to cascading applause with the final blow of his hammer.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The price for the oval-shaped diamond, mounted on a ring and weighing 59.60 carats, was for 68 million Swiss francs,  or $73.99 million.

The final sale price, which includes the "buyer's premium," or commission fees, was 76.3 million Swiss francs, or $83.02 million.

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The winning bidder was a man bidding in the room. He told reporters that he was buying it on behalf of an anonymous person whom he represented - but declined to name the people or parties involved. 

"It surpassed our estimate. It's a large amount of money in itself but I don't think this stone has a price," Auctioneer Bennett said, noting that its pre-sale estimate was $61 million.

The "Pink Star's" sale price exceeded the previous record by the "Graff Pink," a 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond bought by Laurence Graff, the London-based jeweller known as "The King of Diamonds", at a 2010 auction for 45.44 million Swiss francs, or $45.75 million in U.S. dollars then.

"Frankly when I sold the Graff 3 years ago, I thought it would be a record for a very long time. Tonight's price is really quite extraordinary three years later," Bennett said.

Cut and polished from a 132.5 carat rough diamond mined by De Beers somewhere in Africa in 1999, Sotheby's says it had no information on the exact geographic origin. Mounted on a ring, the "Pink Star" was first sold in 2007. as noted previously, the new owner is anonymous. 

The vivid pink diamond is "of immense importance" because of its extraordinary size and exceptionally rich color that surpass all others known to exist in government, royal or private collections.

It is "simply off any scale, and passes, I believe, into the ranks of the earth's greatest natural treasures," Bennett says.

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