10 Oct

Diamond fetches $A32 million at auction

Diamond fetches $A32 million at auction
October 8, 2013


Hong Kong: A 118.28-carat white diamond has broken a world record, fetching more than $US30 million ($A32 million) at a Hong Kong auction.

The sparkling translucent stone was sold to an unnamed phone bidder at the Sotheby’s auction for $HK238.68 million following bidding that lasted for more than six minutes, leaving auctioneers satisfied with the result.

“We are extremely thrilled,” Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, told reporters following the sale, describing the buyer only as a “private collector”.

A model holds a flawless oval diamond during a media preview at Sotheby's auction house in Hong Kong.
A model holds a flawless oval diamond during a media preview at Sotheby’s auction house in Hong Kong.

He said the sale signalled a “moving trend” for the southern Chinese city to host major global auctions.
Hong Kong has become a centre for jewellery auctions thanks to growing wealth in China and other parts of the region.

“The sale alone proves that we can actually sell major diamonds here in Hong Kong. It’s a moving trend,” he said.

“The downturn everybody thinks is happening in Asia, or the slowdown … a lot of the collectors are still extremely wealthy individuals,” he said.

The egg-shaped stone sold on Monday has been described as the finest of its kind ever to appear at auction. Earlier estimates valued it at $US28-$US35 million.

The stone, dubbed the “Magnificent Oval Diamond”, was discovered in a deep mine in an undisclosed southern African country in 2011.

As a rough stone before being cut, it weighed 299 carats.

The stone, described by Sotheby’s as “the largest D colour flawless diamond” sold at auction, has been given the highest quality rating awarded by the Gemological Institute of America.

“D colour” diamonds are rare and colourless and fetch premium prices.

The sale beat the record set at a diamond auction last year, when a 101.73-carat diamond was sold for $US26.7 million.