Date
19 November 2017
Sotheby's autumn auction in Hong Kong will feature an 8.41 carat, pear-shaped, flawless pink diamond, which is expected to fetch between US$12.8 million and US$15.4 million. Photo: Reuters
Sotheby's autumn auction in Hong Kong will feature an 8.41 carat, pear-shaped, flawless pink diamond, which is expected to fetch between US$12.8 million and US$15.4 million. Photo: Reuters

Diamond auction to spotlight sparkling Asian demand

An 8.41 carat, pear-shaped, flawless pink diamond is expected to fetch between US$12.8 million and US$15.4 million at Sotheby’s autumn auction in Hong Kong on Oct. 7, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

While white diamond prices have stabilized in recent years, rising interest in the colored varieties, which are far rarer, has pushed prices towards record levels, and has shifted the focus of the jewelry auction world to Asia, where growing wealth has produced new buyers for the biggest, most precious stones, according to the newspaper.

The top end of the jewelry market has remained unaffected by China’s crackdown on corruption and lavish spending even as many luxury brands of handbags, watches and wine have been hit hard, the report said.

The cost of the gems, along with their appeal as saleable assets, has helped insulate them from the vagaries of economy and politics, said Quek Chin Yeow, chairman of Sotheby’s international jewelry business in Asia.

“For you to be spending US$12 million, it’s not like you are going to be cutting back on buying five handbags to do that,” he told FT.

Colored diamonds’ rarity has helped push up prices, with pink ones accounting for less than 1 percent of mined stones, the report said.

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RA/CG

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