Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Gem Records set at Christie's Hong Kong Auction

Hong Kong's fall sales have been great for records, especially for Christie's Auction House. A pink diamond no larger than a chickpea went for $10.8 million, according to Bloomberg News. The stone had the second-highest rating available (potentially flawless) and a weight of 5 carats. It shattered the per-carat record set back in May. Back then, Hong Kong property investor Joseph Lau picked up a 7.03-carat blue diamond at an auction in Geneva for $10.5 million.

The pink diamond was sent under the gavel by Graff Diamonds, a London-based jeweler. The stone was sold to a phone bidder who beat out Liu Yiqian and his wife, Wang Wei. But, those two have bought enough already, right?

Overall, the 255 lots sold (an 89 percent sell rate) brought in HK$372 million, with the action pushed forward by mainland Chinese, a growing trend in the auction world this year. Donald May, a ruby and sapphire dealer based in Hong Kong, attended the auction and told Bloomberg, "There's a lot of mainland Chinese buying; either they didn't know what the items are worth or they wanted them so badly that price didn't matter." He believes that prices were pushed way out of control.

There were other records set in Hong Kong, as well. A sapphire weighing 16.65 carats, set by Van Cleef & Arpels, brought in HK$18.6 million, also setting a per-carat record.

[Photo courtesy of Christie's]

[Source Bloomberg News]

Posted via email from Whiteflash Diamonds posterous

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