Pink Star, a flawless 59.6-carat pink diamond will be auctioned in the Swiss city of Geneva at a record asking price of $60 million, Sotheby’s auction house says.
Sotheby’s says the oval-cut stone will become the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction.
Sotheby’s David Bennett says the diamond belongs in “the ranks of the earth’s greatest natural treasures”.
Pink Star is over twice the size of the 24.78-carat “Graff Pink” diamond that set the world auction record for $46.2 million.
Pink Star diamond will be auctioned in Geneva at a record asking price of $60 million
The diamond, which was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, has received the highest possible color and clarity rating from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Pink Star weighed 132.5 carats in the rough, and was cut and polished over a period of two years by Steinmetz Diamonds, the New York-based auction house said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I have had the privilege of examining some of the greatest gemstones in the world over the past 35 years, and I can say, without hesitation, that the Pink Star diamond is of immense importance,” said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewellery division in Europe and the Middle East.
He said it was very rare to have vivid pink diamonds weighing only five carats, “so this 59.6-carat stone is simply off any scale”.
Pink Star, which was previously known as the “Steinmetz Pink”, was sold privately in 2007 but neither the price nor the owner was disclosed.
The auction is scheduled to take place on November 13.
Sotheby’s will also auction a white diamond and a blue diamond, valued at more than $28 million and $19 million respectively, in Hong Kong in October.
The Bay Psalm Book – the first book printed in America – is expected to fetch up to $30 million when it goes under the hammer in New York on November 26.
The Bay Psalm Book, which was printed in Massachusetts in 1640, is one of 11 remaining copies of a translated version of the Book of Psalms.
The book has not appeared at auction since 1947, when it sold for a record breaking $151,000.
In today’s money, it would be the equivalent of $1.56 million.
At the time, it was the highest price paid for a printed book.
The Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in America, is expected to fetch up to $30 million when it goes under the hammer in New York
John James Audubon’s Birds of America, which sold for $11.5 million in December 2010, currently holds the world auction record for a printed book.
The Bay Psalm Book was written by pilgrims 20 years after they established a colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Colonists John Cotton, Richard Mather and John Eliot, who wrote the book, wanted a version of the psalms which they believed was closer to the original Hebrew than the ones they had brought with them from England.
“The Bay Psalm Book is a mythical rarity,” said Sotheby’s David Redden.
“With it, New England declared its independence from the Church of England,” he added.
Funds for the printing press were raised in England.
The 1640 edition of the Bay Psalm Book is the earliest surviving print from the press, and was adopted by nearly every congregation in the Massachusetts Bay area.
There were 1,700 copies of the original Bay Psalm Book, of which 11 are now left in various degrees of completeness.
The book comes from the collection of the Old South Church in Boston which has two copies of the edition.
Senior minister of the church, Nancy Taylor, said the money from the sale would help to keep the historic building open and help to increase outreach programmes.
The book will tour various cities in the US before the auction on November 26.
Oil painting Abstraktes Bild by the German artist Gerhard Richter has sold for £21 million ($34 million) – an auction record for a work by a living artist.
Abstraktes Bild, painted in 1994 , which was owned by rock star Eric Clapton, has been described as a “masterpiece of calculated chaos”.
The artwork, expected to fetch £9-12 million, was sold to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby’s in London on Friday.
A round of applause broke out as the painting went under the hammer.
Gerhard Richter, 80, who lives in Cologne, is considered by some to be the world’s greatest living painter.
Abstraktes Bild, painted in 1994, has been described as a masterpiece of calculated chaos
Sotheby’s called Abstraktes Bild a “paradigm of Gerhard Richter’s mature artistic and philosophical achievement”.
Before the sale, Alex Branczik, senior director of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, said of the painting: “Abstraktes Bild is one of the great abstract masterpieces by Gerhard Richter.
“Its appearance on the market presents collectors with the unique opportunity to acquire an outstanding work by one of the greatest living painters.”
A sister painting of the artwork is currently jointly owned by the Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland.
Eric Clapton is a known art collector.
Even before the sale, the Sunday Times Rich List estimated the Cream guitarist’ s wealth at some £140 million, making him the 17th-richest British musician.
He has previously sold off part of his extensive guitar collection to raise money for his rehab clinic, which he founded in 1998 to help treat drug and alcohol addiction.