China’s appetite for diamond is getting stronger.
China, including Hong Kong and Macau, is the world’s second-biggest diamond market and now makes up 13 percent (estimated at $10.27 billion) of global diamond demand. That percentage is expected to rise as more young Chinese choose diamonds over traditional gold for their engagements and marriages.
This week, a Hong Kong buyer paid $32.6 million for a 9.75-carat blue diamond at a Sotheby’s auction in New York, reports Reuters.
The rare fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond – its color reminiscent of the Hope diamond – was owned by Mrs. Paul Mellon and was part of the sale of Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon: Jewels & Objects of Vertu at Sotheby’s. The new buyer has renamed it The Zoe Diamond, according to Blouin Artinfo.
The unnamed Hong Kong collector outbid six others and set a new record price-per-carat for diamonds. A sign of the Chinese willingness to spend, the price was double pre-auction estimates.
China’s demand for precious gems is fueling growth of industry players such as DeBeers and Tiffany & Co, as well as others who are vying to enter this promising market.
image credit: sotheby’s