One of the highlights of Sotheby’s auctions in Hong Kong last September was a white oval diamond weighing 118.28 carats that went on sale for 212 million Hong Kong dollars or $27.3 million.
Including the fees, the egg-shaped stone dubbed the "Magnificent Oval Diamond" would cost 238.68 million Hong Kong dollars or $30.6 million. This breaks the record as being the new most expensive white diamond sold at an auction, estimated earlier for a valued cost of $28-$35 million.
The bidder remains anonymous with the bidding only lasted for more than six minutes.
It was said that the gem was discovered in a deep mine in a southern African country two years ago weighing 299 carats. It was also described by Sotheby’s as "the largest D colour flawless diamond" sold at auction and was given the highest quality rating by the Gemological Institute of America. "D colour" diamonds are dubbed rare and colourless and fetch premium prices.
The highest ever sold diamond auction was a 101.73-carat diamond purchased for $26.7 million last year. While the world’s most paid jewel at an auction was the "fancy intense pink" diamond weighing 24.8 carats sold for $46 million in 2010.
Other pieces that went on sale at the auction were a small white-and-blue porcelain Chinese bowl from the 15th century sold for $141 million; a work by Zhang Daqian sold for $34.84 million; a contemporary ink paintings for $25.4 million; and “The Last Supper,” a 2001 painting by the Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi sold at $23.3 million and is the highest paid work of a contemporary Asian artist in an auction.
Sotheby’s auction sales went to a total of 2.8 billion Hong Kong dollars or $361.1 million, setting a new records and making Hong Kong one of the best and strongest markets for auctions of this kind.
“There is a slowdown happening in Asia’s economies. But at this level of collecting, there is an echelon of buyers who are still very wealthy and looking to add to their collections,” said said Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s in Asia.
"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. The sale alone proves that we can actually sell major diamonds here in Hong Kong. It's a moving trend," he added.
The record could be surpassed this upcoming November with a 59.60-carat diamond expected to sell for more than $60 million in Geneva.
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