Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Flawless white diamond sells for record $30 million at Hong Kong auction

By Katie Hunt, CNN
updated 8:05 AM EST, Tue November 26, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Oval diamond sells for record $30.6 million in Hong Kong
  • It was the largest diamond ever sold at auction
  • Diamond sold to unidentified Asian private collector

Hong Kong (CNN) -- A white diamond the size of a small egg has sold for $30.6 million at an auction in Hong Kong, smashing the world record for a jewel of its kind.

The flawless, 118-carat oval diamond was sold to an unidentified Asian collector, whose winning bid came at the lower end of the $28 million to $35 million estimate set by auction giant Sotheby's. It was the largest diamond ever sold at auction.

David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's Jewelry Division for Europe and the Middle East, told CNN that diamonds could be bought as an investment or simply for the love of a beautiful and rare object.

"Asia has rapidly in the past 20 years become our most important sector of the buying public. They account for more than a third (of buyers)."

Are diamonds a good investment?

However, a rare blue diamond that was expected to fetch at least $19 million during the same sale failed to reach its reserve price.

The previous record for a white diamond was set in May at Christie's in Geneva when a pear-shaped jewel sold for $26.7 million.

The auction was part of a series of fall sales of art, jewelry and other collectibles held in the city by Sotheby's and its rivals.

READ: China's 'Last Supper' sets art world record

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
CNN Style
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Metro stations get a bad reputation as dark, grimy places where travelers are as likely to catch a communicable disease as they are a train.
updated 9:05 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
How can architecture help a nation cope with traumatic history? An institute designed by Zaha Hadid attempts to find a new answer to the question.
updated 8:43 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Italian photographer Antonio La Grotta has been capturing abandoned nightclubs that are falling apart in typically glamorous Italian fashion.
updated 10:41 AM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Bernhard Lang's aerial photos capture the unexpected symmetry and patterns of common public spaces.
updated 11:41 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
How the disembodied head, which seems to have a life of its own, was spirited into the gem seems to be something of a mystery.
updated 6:15 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Paris Photo again drew huge crowds this year, including actresses, designers, artists and, of course, the photography world's elite.
updated 2:28 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Condé Nast has unearthed portraits of the biggest stars of the 20s and 30s, including Fred Astaire and Greta Garbo.
updated 6:06 AM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
The most "complicated" handmade watch in the world has been sold at auction for an historic $24.4 million.
updated 8:31 AM EST, Tue November 11, 2014
Artists are using a new vocabulary to commemorate lives lost at war. But how do you convey the collective grief of a nation in a single work of art?
updated 8:37 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
Nasir al-mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran
It's a side of Iran the rest of the world doesn't normally get to see -- the kaleidoscopic interiors of the country's intricately designed mosques.
updated 9:59 AM EST, Mon November 10, 2014
Illustrator and design educator Laurence Zeegen looks back at the rise of illustration over the last 50 years.
updated 6:45 AM EST, Mon November 10, 2014
These beautiful weapons from the 19th century were a showcase for craftsmanship and a symbol of American power.
ADVERTISEMENT