Flawless blue beauty

This rare blue diamond set a new record at Sotheby's in Hong Kong after fetching HK$248.29 million (S$43.4 million), despite a slowdown in China's economy which has affected the auction market.

The De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, a 10.10 carat vivid blue diamond, broke the record for the most expensive piece of jewellery sold at auction in Asia, but at the lower end of estimates which predicted it would fetch between US$30 million and US$35 million ($40.5 million to $47.5 million).

Slightly larger than an almond, it is described by Sotheby's as the largest oval blue diamond ever to appear at auction and "internally flawless". It was sold on Tuesday to an anonymous phone bidder.

The sale came hours after a scroll painting by Chinese master Zhang Daqian sold for a record-breaking HK$270.68 million, also at Sothe- by's.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2016, with the headline 'Flawless blue beauty'. Print Edition | Subscribe