DIAMONDS

‘Flawless’ pink diamond to go to auction at Sotheby’s for HK$100 million

Chinese market, especially married Chinese woman, drives luxury sales to record

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 September, 2014, 3:28pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 September, 2014, 6:25pm

An ‘internally flawless’, 8.41 carat purple-pink diamond to be auctioned by Sotheby’s Hong Kong is expected to sell for more than HK$100 million.

“Natural pink diamonds over a carat are extremely rare to come by; some would say it is beyond rare,” the auction house said. “Whenever a pink diamond over five carats is put up at an auction, it naturally assumes a pivotal position in the auction room.”

The rose coloured diamond could become one of the top three stones ever sold at auction on a per-carat basis when it goes on sale on October 7.

“This diamond is one in a million, or even one in ten million,” Terry Chu, Sotheby’s jewellery department senior director for China and Southeast Asia, said. “It’s a very romantic and sexy pink diamond.”

Last year, Sotheby’s Hong Kong auctioned off a 118.28 carat white diamond for US$30.6 million (HK$237 million) breaking world records. In October, the auction house, which is seen as a barometer of demand from China for expensive artwork and luxury goods, posted its highest ever autumn sales, exceeding forecasts.

“The market is very good, better than last year,” Liu Cheng, a Shanghai dealer who goes to the sales every year told the South China Morning Post in October. “Although the economy is slowing down, there are still many rich people in China. Some new buyers have come who just want good items without knowing about previous prices, which led to [the current] high prices.”

Chinese consumers drove global diamond jewellery sales to a global record of US$79 billion last year, according to a report by luxury jeweller De Beers.

“The biggest engine for growth is greater China,” said Philippe Mellier, De Beers chief executive. “The biggest source of new purchases are married Chinese women.”