World's largest diamond – the Pink Star – sells for record £52m at auction

An enormous diamond known as the Pink Star sold for more than $83m (£52m) at auction on Wednesday night, far surpassing its expected price.

Sotheby's said the sale of the vivid and flawless 59.60-carat pink diamond is the highest price ever paid for a gemstone at auction.

Prior to the sale to the successful bidder, representing an anonymous buyer, the diamond was estimated to fetch more than $60m. The bidding opened above $52m, and it closed with the playing of the Pink Panther films' theme music.

The plum-sized gem had been introduced prior to the bidding as "one of the most remarkable gems ever to appear at auction".

The diamond is graded as a Type IIa, a rarity for a pink diamond, and it took Steinmetz Diamonds two years to cut it to form from a 132.5-carat rough diamond.

It was first shown publicly in May 2003 as the Steinmetz Pink, then sold privately for the first time in 2007 when it was renamed the Pink Star.

The sale in Geneva came a day after the largest fancy vivid orange diamond ever sold at auction went for $35.5m at a Christie's auction.

The auctions at Geneva's lakeside hotels draw well-heeled buyers from around the world seeking expensive jewels, artworks, wines and watches.

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