Sotheby's forced to take back pink diamond

Posted at 03/05/14 12:32 AM

GENEVA - Auction house Sotheby's said Tuesday it has been forced to buy back a flawless, near-60 carat pink diamond it sold last November after the buyer defaulted on the record $83-million (60-million-euro) payment.

New York diamond cutter Isaac Wolf had outbid rivals for the gemstone, called the "Pink Star", in the Geneva auction conducted by the company.

But, "as a result subsequent buyer default," Sotheby's was forced under its auction contract to buy back the diamond, which is 59.60 carats. It listed its "inventory" value as $72 million.

"Sotheby's has reserved all of its rights and and remedies against the defaulting purchaser," it said in a statement.

The auction house gave no details about the identity of the seller of the diamond.

The Pink Star was discovered in a diamond mine in Africa by mining company De Beers in 1999.

Sotheby's still holds the world record price for a diamond sale, even after the default. In November 2010 the auction house sold another pink diamond -- the 24.78-carat "Graff Pink" -- for $46 million in another auction in Geneva.