Sotheby’s Geneva Sells Important And Rare Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond For Record $9,488,754


This total represents the highest price for a fancy vivid blue diamond sold at auction and the record price per carat for any gemstone sold at auction ($1,349,752). The winning bidder, who wishes to remain anonymous, is yet to exercise their privilege to name the stone.

The auction series comprised one of the most important private collections to come to auction in recent years, A Celebration of Taste and Style, which achieved a total of $7,116,227 (CHF 7,873,500 / €5,268,001) and was 78.8% sold by lot and 94.6% sold by value, in addition to Sotheby’s third annual Noble Jewels sale, which exceeded its top presaře estimate and raised a total of CHF 5,234,300 ($4,730,865 / €3,502,165) and was 87.5% sold by lot and 95.5% sold by value.

Commenting on tonight’s sale, David Bennett, Chairman, Europe & the Middle East, Sotheby’s  International Jewellery department, said: “We are very pleased with tonight’s sale series total and strong sell-through rate, which demonstrate the continued demand for rare jewels of exceptional quality and provenance. We are particularly thrilled with the price achieved for the exceptional fancy vivid blue diamond, and its record price per carat as the highest for any gemstone sold at auction. It has been very exciting and rewarding to work so closely with Petra Diamonds and to follow the progress of this remarkable gem over the last few months and through to its auction success on the international stage this evening.”

The centrepiece of the Magnificent Jewels sales series was the fancy vivid blue, internally flawless, cushion-shaped diamond weighing 7.03 carats. Following heated bidding that lasted for over 15 minutes the remarkable stone realised of $9,488,754 (CHF 10,498,500 / €7,024,336). The pre-sale estimate of this stone was $5.8-8.5 million/ CHF 6.8-10 million. The diamond, cut from a 26.58 carat rough, was discovered in 2008 at Petra Diamonds’ historic Cullinan diamond mine in South Africa. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has graded the stone as fancy vivid blue in colour and internally flawless in clarity, the highest possible grading for a blue diamond.

Petra Diamonds CEO Johan Dippenaar commented: “The price achieved at the Sotheby’s auction for this exquisite, internally flawless blue diamond is a world record by value per carat and the highest price to be achieved by a fancy vivid blue diamond, and reflects how incredibly rare and collectable such an important blue diamond is to the connoisseur. The renowned Cullinan mine continues to captivate the world with spectacular diamonds, building on its legacy as the source of some of the world’s most famous gems. This has been a very successful partnership with Sotheby’s, one of the pre-eminent names in jewellery sales, and has provided the perfect platform to garner international recognition for a gem of this calibre.”

Two further diamond highlights in the Magnificent Jewels sale include an exceptional type IIa fancy intense pink pearshaped diamond of 5.29 carats which sold for $2,048,508 (CHF2,266,500 / €1,516,470) and a magnificent marquise modified brilliant-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 18.13 carats, from the  property of an International Collector, which achieved $1,065,152 (CHF1,178,500 / €788,511).

Tne of the most important private collections to appear at auction in recent years, A Celebration of Taste and Style, realised a total of $7,116,227 (CHF 7,873,500 / €5,268,001) this evening. Pieces signed by Harry Winston were highly sought-after: a very important sapphire and diamond bracelet, dated 1968, designed as a flexible curved band of circularand brilliant-cut diamonds, embellished with five step-cut sapphires of Burmese and Ceylon origins, sold for $1,390,527 (CHF 1,538,500 / €1,029,380) against a pre-sale estimate of $450,000-650,000; a highly important pair of sapphire and diamond pendent earrings set with four octagonal Burmese step-cut sapphires realised $739,777 (CHF 818,500 / €547,642); a magnificent diamond necklace/bracelet set with marquise- and pear-shaped diamonds, dated 1975, whose front is set with eleven marquise-shaped diamonds, alternating with stones of other shapes, fetched $815,698 (CHF 902,500 / €815,698 / €603,845); and a fine diamond necklace designed as a line of marquiseshaped diamonds, suspending a pendant set with a step-cut sapphire of Burmese origin weighing 37.49 carats brought $457,000 (CHF 506,500 / € 338,889).


The third consecutive annual Noble Jewels sale held at Sotheby’s Geneva exceeded its pre-sale high estimate, realising a total of $4,730,865 (CHF 5,234,300 / €3,502,165), and was 87.5% sold by lot and 95.5% sold by value. The highlight of this section of the sale was a selection of aquamarine and diamond jewels made by Cartier in 1912, which was originally part of the collection of Olga, Princess Paley, Countess of Hohenfelsen. Following enthusiastic bidding, the prices fetched were well above their pre-sale estimates: the aigrette sold for CHF 566,500 ($512,014 / €379,034), the necklace for $392,710 (CHF 434,500 / € 290,715) and the devant de corsage for $164,947 (CHF 182,500 / €122,107). Each of these lots had pre-sale estimates of $100,000-150,000.

There was a high level of active bidders, both present in the room and on the phone, for a further Noble Jewels highlight which doubled its pre-sale estimate: a pair of diamond bracelets that belonged to Queen Theresa of Bavaria, née Princess of Saxony-Hildburghausen, the wife of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, sold for $ 170,370 (CHF 188,500 / € 126,122), well in excess of its pre-sale estimate of $82,000.

From the collection of Diane Benvenuti, née Rothschild, a diamond bracelet signed by Cartier and dated 1927 realised $154,101 (CHF 170,500 / € 114,078) almost doubling its pre-sale estimate of $52,000-78,000.

Finally, a pair of spinel and diamond pendant ear clips, dated end of the 18th Century, from the property of a German Princely and Liechtenstein Ruling Family, which was most probably part of the Collection of Wilhelm, 2nd Duke of Urach, Count of Württemberg and his 2nd wife , Wiltrud, Princess of Bavaria, sold for $ 105,295 (CHF 116,500 / €77,948) against a pre-sale estimate of $18,000-25,000.


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