15m yuan diamonds are a man's best friend
A man from Ordos, Inner Mongolia, bought 104 diamonds for nearly 15 million yuan (HK$18.4 million) from a retailer in Beijing last week, hoping to keep them as a long-term investment, local media reported.
It was the largest single sale of diamonds in Beijing in recent years, said the chairman of the retailer, City of Love Diamonds, who spoke to the Beijing Times.
The store is located in the Shuangjing area of the capital.
The chairman said the buyer was a man of about 50 years old who did not want to reveal his full name. He also said the speculative purchase was made because the buyer believed the recent price of gold to be unstable.
The diamonds weighed between 0.7 and 5 carats, with about half weighing 1 carat (0.2 grams).
An employee at the store said it took the man all of Wednesday to carefully select and examine the diamonds.
The payment arrived on Friday and was divided into three transfers because of the large sum.
The employee was quoted as saying that the buyer began negotiating his purchase with the store two months ago, and he initially wanted to spend 40 million yuan, but his current disposable income allowed him to spend just 15 million yuan.
Ordos, located in the sparsely populated autonomous region of northern China, has produced a large number of millionaires in recent years due to sudden wealth from its rich coal deposits.
Many once-impoverished farmers have become wealthy from the hefty compensation payments they received for relocation when the mining companies came in.
The mining boom has made Ordos one of the nation's richest cities.
However, the near-overnight riches led to a massive real estate boom in an area with no sustainable development to justify the sprawling communities and neighbourhoods that are now virtually empty.
Ordos, virtually a ghost town, has been portrayed by foreign media as a modern-day example of failed urban planning.