US-based jewellery Harry Winston paid a record US$23.8m for The Blue, the largest vivid blue diamond in the world, at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction on May 14.
The sale of the 13 carat stone for US$1,799,953 a carat set a world auction record price per carat for a blue diamond just beating a deep-blue cushion shaped diamond which sold for US$1,799,883 a carat at Bonham’s in April last year.
Rahul Kadakia, international head of Christie’s jewellery department, said Harry Winston has continued that tradition of buying the best at Christie’s with its acquisition of the diamond.
According to the GIA, the stone is the largest fancy vivid blue the lab has ever seen and was described by jewellery specialist Jean-Marc Lunel as “absolutely pure externally and internally”.
Harry Winston CEO Nayla Hayek, who has renamed the diamond The Winston Blue, said it has been her ambition to “acquire the most desirable and unique gems” since the Swatch Group purchased the jeweller in January 2013.
“When Christie’s announced they were offering the largest flawless fancy vivid blue the GIA had ever graded, I had to buy it,” she said. “Today I am proud to own the most beautiful blue diamond in the world.”
Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction also set a world record for the highest total for a jewellery auction with US$154.2m in sales.
In addition, four other world record prices for individual lots were also achieved during the auction:
- a 76.51 carat light-pink diamond sold for US$10m – a world auction record for a light pink diamond
- a 5.50 carat blue-green diamond sold for US$8.6m – a world auction record for a blue-green diamond
- a 21.41 carat Russian alexandrite sold for US$1.3m – a world auction record for an alexandrite
- a 49.04 carat pink sapphire sold for US$2m – a world auction record for a pink sapphire
Kadakia concluded that “the jewellery market continues to remain extremely vibrant and we look forward to a buoyant season as we move into auctions at Christie’s Hong Kong, London, Paris and New York”.