Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 file photo, a 118.28-carat white diamond is displayed by a model at a press preview at Sotheby's auction house in Hong Kong. The white diamond the size of a small egg has sold for $27.3 million dollars at a Hong Kong auction. A phone bidder bought the rock from Africa at the Monday night, Oct. 7 sale. The price edged out the previous price record for a white diamond of $26.7 million set at Christie's in Geneva in May. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)
White diamond fetches record $30.6M at auction
First Published Oct 07 2013 11:45 am • Last Updated Oct 07 2013 11:55 am

Hong Kong • A white diamond the size of a small egg sold for $30.6 million at a Hong Kong auction Monday night, although a blue diamond that was the night’s other highlight with a $19 million estimate failed to sell.

Two phone bidders competed for the 118-carat white diamond from Africa in six minutes of measured bidding until one dropped out in the Sotheby’s jewelry auction, part of fall sales of art and collectibles by the firm and its rivals.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The twice-yearly ritual in the southern Chinese city draws wealthy collectors from mainland China and other Asian countries and has made the city one of the world’s busiest auction hubs.

The "flawless" white oval diamond, mined and cut two years ago, was hammered down for 212 million Hong Kong dollars ($27.3 million), just under the low end of the $28 million to $35 million estimate range set by Sotheby’s. Total price including commission came to $30.6 million.

That was more than the previous record of $26.7 million for a white diamond set in May at Christie’s in Geneva.

The stone, which weighed 299 carats when it was found in the rough in 2011, is the largest and most significant such diamond graded by the Gemological Institute of America. Sotheby’s says it was discovered in southern Africa but won’t name the country because the seller wishes to remain anonymous.

The auction’s other highlight, a 7.6-carat flawless, round, vivid blue diamond which had an estimate of $19 million, failed to reach its reserve price.

The two gems were among 330 lots of rare jewelry that fetched a total of $95 million, $15 million less than expected.

"Hong Kong has in the last few years pulled itself up alongside Geneva and New York as one of the three major selling centers at auction" for diamonds, said Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia and an international diamond expert.

But he added that the results should not be taken as an indicator of how wealthy Asians are being affected by economic trends such as China’s slowdown. That’s because such stratospheric prices can only be afforded by the super rich, who he said are mostly immune from such fluctuations.


story continues below
story continues below

The world record price for a jewel at auction was set in 2010, when London jeweler Laurence Graff paid $46 million for a "fancy intense pink" diamond weighing 24.8 carats.

That record could be blown away in November, when Sotheby’s puts a pink 59.60-carat diamond on the block that’s expected to fetch more than $60 million in Geneva.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.