A flawless deep-blue diamond sold at auction for 10.27 million Swiss francs ($10.86 million). This is a world record for a blue diamond per carat and more than twice its pre-sale estimate, Sotheby’s said.
According to TODAY, London luxury jeweller Laurence Graff, bid by telephone and bought the drop-shaped stone which weighs 10.48 carats. The diamond is about the size of an almond.
Signed pieces by top designers including Bulgari, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels fetched strong prices, easily exceeding their estimates, at the semi-annual sales in Geneva.
The auction house erupted into applause after David Bennett, head of Sotheby’s international jewellery department, brought down the hammer after heated and lengthy bidding on the blue diamond. The blue diamond had been estimated to sell between 3.2 million to 4.2 million francs.
Bennett told reporters:
“It is certainly a world record price per carat for a deep blue diamond. It is an extraordinary stone, a very, very mystical deep blue. They only come from one mine, the Cullinan mine in South Africa.”
That mine is owned by Petra Diamonds.
Mark Emanuel, of American jeweller David Webb, predicted that the blue diamond would be re-cut. He told Reuters:
“It is an extremely rare 10-carat deep blue briolette that can be re-cut to a 7-carat vivid blue.”
He continued on to say:
“Most of these diamonds are bought on the basis of speculating and re-cutting. That’s why we come. As a diamond dealer we look at the potential of a stone.”
A late 1920s Cartier bracelet put up for sale by a member of the extended Spanish royal family soared to 3 .28 million Swiss francs. Its pre-sale estimate was 750,000-1.3 million.
According to Bennett, only an iconic 1952 Cartier panther bracelet belonging to the Duchess of Windsor, part of her collection first sold in 1987, is worth more. It sold at $7 million two years ago.