Blue diamond fetches $24 million at auction

A spectacular blue diamond, the largest in its category, fetched $23.79 million (21.4 million francs) at a Christie's auction in Geneva on Wednesday.

Blue diamond fetches $24 million at auction
The blue diamond is flanked on either side by a smaller diamond. Photo: Christies

The sale of the 13.22-carat rock known simply as "The Blue" came a day after Sotheby's sold a 110-carat flawless yellow diamond for $16.3 million — with both sales including commission.
When the world's largest orange diamond went under the hammer last November at Christie's in Geneva, it raked in $35.5 million.
Such marquee sales underline the growing popularity of coloured diamonds.

Once considered a curiosity, they are rarer than white diamonds and now attract higher prices per carat than even the most flawless, translucent stone.
The US jeweller Harry Winston bought the blue diamond, described by Christie's as the largest fancy vivid blue diamond in the world, from an anonymous seller.
"Fancy vivid" is the top rating for coloured diamonds.
The company's CEO Nayla Hayek said it plans to rename the 13.22-carat pear-shaped rock the "Winston Blue".
 Harry Winston was bought by Swiss-based watch group Swatch last year.

“In January 2013 we purchased Harry Winston and since then my ambition has been to acquire the most desirable and unique gems," Hayek said in a statement.

"When Christie’s announced they were offering the largest flawless fancy-vivid blue the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) had ever graded, I had to buy it."

The sale was part of the "Geneva Magnificent Jewels" auction that raked in 139 million francs, including buyer's commissions. 

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Rare pink diamond to go under hammer in Geneva

An extremely rare pink diamond will be auctioned in Geneva on November 11 by Sotheby's, which says it is worth between $23 and $38 million.

Rare pink diamond to go under hammer in Geneva
A model poses with the “The Spirit of the Rose” diamond during a press preview on Friday. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Named “The Spirit of the Rose” after a famous Russian ballet, the 14.83-carat diamond mined in Russia is the biggest ever to go under the hammer in its category — “fancy vivid purple-pink”.
The occurrence of pink diamonds in nature is extremely rare in any size,” Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby's jewellery division, said in a statement. “Only one per cent of all pink diamonds are larger than 10-carats.”
Speaking to AFP, Benoit Repellin, head of fine jewellery auctions at Sotheby's Geneva, said the oval-shaped diamond was “completely pure.”
The rough diamond was unearthed by Russia's Alrosa — one of the world's leading diamond producers — in the Republic of Sakha in the northeast of the country in July 2017.
Repellin said it took a painstaking year for cutting masters to turn the diamond into its polished form.
Sotheby's said the world auction record for a diamond and any gemstone or jewel was the “CTF Pink Star”, a 59.60-carat oval pink diamond that sold for $71.2 million in Hong Kong in 2017.
According to Repellin, five out of the 10 most valuable diamonds ever sold at auction were pink.
The sale of this gem coincides with the closure of the world's largest pink diamond mine in Australia after it exhausted its reserves of the precious stones.
The Argyle mine, in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, churned out more than 90 percent of the world's pink diamonds.