HONG KONG: A 118.28-carat white diamond broke a world record yesterday when it fetched $30.6m at a auction here.
The sparkling translucent stone was sold to an unnamed phone bidder at the Sotheby’s auction for HK$238.68m ($30.6m) following bidding that lasted for more than six minutes, leaving auctioneers thrilled.
“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”. He said the sale signalled a “moving trend” for the southern Chinese city to host major global auctions.
“The sale alone proves that we can actually sell major diamonds here in Hong Kong. It’s a moving trend,” he said. The egg-shaped stone sold yesterday has been described as the finest of its kind ever to appear at auction. Earlier estimates valued it at $28m-$35m.
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. AFP