Hasidic Jew, Issac Wolf Buys $83M Pink Diamond (Video)


Isaac Wolf, Orthodox Hasidic Jew and a New York-based diamond cutter, was the buyer of the 59.60-carat pink diamond that sold for $83 million in Geneva, a record for any gemstone at auction.

Wolf renamed the oval-cut stone the “Pink Dream,” New York-based Sotheby’s said. He competed against three others for the gem in bidding that lasted about five minutes before the strike of the gavel, followed by cheers and applause.

“The Pink Star,” a 59.60-carat colored diamond. The oval-cut stone, the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by Gemological Institute of America (GIA), sold for $83 million — a record for any gemstone at auction — when was auctioned by Sotheby’s in Geneva on Nov. 13. It was estimated to raise more than $60 million.

“The Orange,” the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world. The VS1 clarity pear-shaped diamond of 14.82 carats was estimated at $17 million to $20 million in a Geneva auction. It sold for 32.6 million Swiss francs, or about $36 million, a record for an orange diamond. Source: 2013 Christie’s Images Ltd. via Bloomberg

The diamond led last night’s auction, which Sotheby’s said raised a record $199.5 million, along with the new artist record set by the $105.4 million sale of an Andy Warhol painting in New York last night, are high-profile successes for the auction house, which is facing pressure from investors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded at an intraday record before the sale of the stone, previously called the “Pink Star.”

“It elicits almost a visceral response,” David Bennett, the auctioneer, said of the gem. “This stone checks every single box in terms of rarity, quality, size and everything. The crown jewels of England, which is one of the greatest jewel cases, does not have a diamond this size or this color.”

Steinmetz Diamonds, owned by Israel’s richest man, Beny Steinmetz, cut and polished the stone, which was mined by De Beers in Africa. After two years of preparation, the stone was worn by Danish model Helena Christensen around her neck to exhibit it to the public for the first time in Monaco in 2003.

The stone is fancy vivid pink, the highest grade for the color of diamonds, and the purity of its crystals ranks among the top 2 percent in the world.

Bennett had set the previous record for any stone sold in auction in 2010 with the $45.6 million “Graff Pink” diamond. The “Pink Dream” is more than twice the size of the 24.78-carat “Graff Pink.”

The sale crowns the Geneva fall auction season by Sotheby’s (BID) and Christie’s, highlights of which include the $36 million sale of the largest orange diamond known to exist, a $2.2 million price tag for a 1957 Patek Philippe watch, and a record for a Rolex Daytona.

The diamond, originally named ”The Steinmetz Pink,” was sold privately in 2007 for an undisclosed amount. The gem has been included in the ”Splendor of Diamonds” exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. It was the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.

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