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Diamond the size of a ping pong ball sells for $6 million in Asia

  • Story Highlights
  • The stone is the largest ever sold at auction in Asia
  • Three other diamonds of 100 carats or more have sold at auctions in Europe
  • Its size also has drawn comparisons to a squash ball or quail egg
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By Mark Bixler
CNN
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(CNN) -- A private collector has plunked down $6 million to buy the largest diamond ever sold at auction in Asia.

The owner went home with a shield-shape stone of 101 carats, nestled into a striking tiara designed specifically to showcase a flawless and colorless diamond the size of a ping pong ball.

The stone sold at Christie's auction house in Hong Kong on Wednesday, said Kate Swan Malin, a Christie's spokeswoman. Three other diamonds of 100 carats or more have sold at auctions in Europe, but this was the first purchase of such a stone in an Asian auction, she said.

Its size also has drawn comparisons to a squash ball or quail egg.

Christie's obtained the diamond as a loose stone and set about deciding how best to highlight its radiance for potential buyers.

"We were thinking 'What can we do with this diamond?'" Malin said.

What they did was ask a designer to craft a special tiara to display the stone -- buyers snap up antique tiaras at auctions in some parts of the world, Malin said.

So who bought the mammoth stone?

Christie's declined to say.

What does someone do with a diamond so big?

"Some collectors would absolutely wear this out," Malin said, "but it would be for a very special occasion, obviously."

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