“It’s the rarity and the collectability of these wonderful objects. When they come to the market, they will have strong interest from all over the world…of course people are concerned about the China slowdown, but sales of rare items seem to be largely unaffected by growth numbers.”
Auction house Sotheby’s today announced that another Vivid Blue diamond of 10.10 carats is expected to set a new records for the most expensive gem ever sold at an auction in Asia, despite an ongoing growth slowdown in China’s economy.
The internally-flawless ‘De Beers Millennium Jewel 4′ is expected to fetch between US$30 million (AU$40 million) and US$35 million (AU$46 million) at the April 5 sale in Hong Kong, and is the largest oval-shaped blue diamond to appear at auction.
The diamond, which is slightly larger than an almond in size, came from South Africa’s Cullinan Mine and was one of 12 displayed at London’s Millennium Dome to mark the year 2000.
“There are no more than a dozen or so blue diamonds of fancy vivid colour and over 10 carats in the world, so they are very, very rare,” said Sotheby’s Deputy Chairman for Asia, Quek Chin Yeow.
The sale will come five months after the 12.03-carat ‘Blue Moon of Josephine‘ was bought for a record US$48 million (AU$64 million) in Geneva by an Asian property tycoon — a further sign the diamond auction market remains strong despite slowing Chinese growth.
The world’s second-largest economy expanded 6.9 per cent in 2015, the worst performance in a quarter of a century and a far cry from years of double-digit increases.
“Of course people are concerned about the China slowdown” Mr Quek said, but added that sales of rare items seem to be largely unaffected by growth numbers.
“It’s the rarity and the collectability of these wonderful objects. When they come to the market, they will have strong interest from all over the world,” Mr Quek said, adding that the location of the upcoming sale was a sign of confidence in the Asian market.