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Flawless white diamond sells for record $30 million at Hong Kong auction

By Katie Hunt, CNN
November 26, 2013 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Oval diamond sells for record $30.6 million in Hong Kong
  • It was the largest diamond ever sold at auction
  • Diamond sold to unidentified Asian private collector

Hong Kong (CNN) -- A white diamond the size of a small egg has sold for $30.6 million at an auction in Hong Kong, smashing the world record for a jewel of its kind.

The flawless, 118-carat oval diamond was sold to an unidentified Asian collector, whose winning bid came at the lower end of the $28 million to $35 million estimate set by auction giant Sotheby's. It was the largest diamond ever sold at auction.

David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's Jewelry Division for Europe and the Middle East, told CNN that diamonds could be bought as an investment or simply for the love of a beautiful and rare object.

"Asia has rapidly in the past 20 years become our most important sector of the buying public. They account for more than a third (of buyers)."

Are diamonds a good investment?

However, a rare blue diamond that was expected to fetch at least $19 million during the same sale failed to reach its reserve price.

The previous record for a white diamond was set in May at Christie's in Geneva when a pear-shaped jewel sold for $26.7 million.

The auction was part of a series of fall sales of art, jewelry and other collectibles held in the city by Sotheby's and its rivals.

READ: China's 'Last Supper' sets art world record

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