Asia

Egg-sized diamond sells for record $30.8m in Hong Kong

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Media captionThe diamond sold for the record price of $30.8m (£19.1m)

A white diamond the size and shape of a small egg has sold for a record $30.8m (£19.1m) at auction in Hong Kong.

Dubbed the "magnificent oval diamond", the stone was bought by a phone bidder at the Sotheby's sale.

The price topped the previous record of $26.7m for a white diamond sold at an auction in Geneva in May.

The stone, sold in six minutes of bidding on Monday night, was described by Sotheby's as "the largest D colour flawless diamond".

"D colour" or finest white diamonds are considered extremely rare and fetch premium prices.

Image caption A 7.6 carat vivid blue diamond sold for $16.1m

The gem was discovered in a mine in an undisclosed southern African country in 2011 and weighed 299 carats before cutting.

Pre-sale estimates had valued the diamond, given the highest quality rating by the Gemological Institute of America, at $28-$35m.

The auction's other highlight was a 7.6 carat vivid blue diamond that fetched $16.1m.

Hong Kong has become a hub for jewellery auctions in recent years due to rising numbers of wealthy collectors from China and other Asian countries.

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