Known around the world for its mineral riches, it is not surprising that South Africa is where many of the most exceptional diamonds in the world are discovered. One such diamond is The Pink Star, a rare 59.6 carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond. It is the largest pink diamond to be graded throughout recorded history. The rare stone was mined by De Beers in 1999 and had a rough weight of 132.5 carat.
The massive gem was carefully handled by diamond veteran Beny Steinmetz and the Steinmetz Diamonds company. After nearly two years of cautiously cutting and polishing the exquisite stone, it was unveiled as ‘Steinmetz Pink’ in 2003 in Monaco at a public ceremony. It was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s ‘Splendour of Diamonds’ exhibition with other unique diamonds including the De Beers Millennium Star, a 203.04 carat Grade D Colourless, which is the second largest top-colour, flawless, pear-shaped diamond in the world, and the Cullinan I. Also known as The Great Star of Africa, the Cullinan I is a 530.2 carat pendeloque-cut diamond and is the largest clear cut diamond in the world.
Auctioned in Geneva by Sotheby’s in 2013 the Pink Star fetched a staggering US$83.187 million – the world record for any diamond or gemstone to be sold. Although the buyer was certain enough about the purchase to rename the stone as ‘The Pink Dream’, the price was not formally settled and it was returned to the inventory because the buyer could not raise the funds. The Pink Star came up for auction yet again in April 2017. This time in Hong Kong where it was sold to the investment company Chow Tai Fook Enterprises for US$71.2 million.