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 6:09 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Imagine watching the northern lights through the transparent roof of your own glass igloo. CNN takes a look at the most awe-inspiring hideouts.
updated 6:01 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Photographer Romain Jacquet-LagrŅze captures the giant skyscrapers swamping Hong Kong
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
It's largely devoid of human life -- the Arctic is surely the worst possible destination for an arts festival.
updated 6:39 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Beauty with purpose - these impressive clocks stun with their intricacy, history and grandeur.
updated 3:22 AM EDT, Wed August 6, 2014
An image showing a proposed floating snowflake hotel to be built in Norway.
Opening in December 2016, The Krystall Hotel might melt hearts as guests check into this giant floating snowflake
updated 9:37 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
Wim Noorduin, a Harvard scientist, creates delicate micro-sculptures of flowers using a chemical reaction.
updated 8:35 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Designer Justin Plunkett layers photos and computer-generated illustration to create Mad Max-like images of post-apocalyptic architecture.
updated 4:54 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
CNN went to the International Talent Support contest in Trieste, Italy, to find out who will be the next big name in fashion design.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska's enigmatic images show crumbling palaces with ornate ballrooms, swirling staircases, and grand rooms strewn with rubble.
updated 1:56 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
From Maastricht to Melbourne, CNN brings you the most extraordinary and beautifully designed bookshops in the world.
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Photographer Joan Fontcuberta plays with reality and fiction, giving goats wings, and adorning monkeys with unicorn horns.
updated 6:46 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
L.A. artist Christine McConnell styles herself as a glamorous pin-up, but her sumptuous cakes evoke the Tim Burton-esque realm of fantasy.
ADVERTISEMENT