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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Magnificent Jewels Auction - Sotheby's Geneva

GENEVA, 12TH MAY 2009 – Tonight Sotheby’s spring Magnificent Jewels sale series realised a strong total of $35,762,327 and was 76.9% sold by lot and 91.3% sold by value.

The centrepiece of the Magnificent Jewels auction
series - an important and rare fancy vivid blue, internally flawless, cushion-shaped diamond weighing 7.03 carats from Petra Diamonds’ historic Cullinan mine – realised $9,488,754 against a pre-sale estimate of $5.8-8.5 million. 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, in addition to Soth
eby’s third annual Noble Jewels sale, which exceeded its top presale estimate and raised a total of $4,730,865 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. The pre-sale estimate of this stone was $5.8-8.5 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 pear shaped diamond of 5.29 carats which sold for $2,048,508 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. via Sotheby's Auction Report

Register to Receive Catalogs
Take a minute to register at Sotheby's - they will send notification of upcoming auctions - and an online catalog of YUMMY gems and jewelry! I will not soon forget the December 2008 sale of Magnificent Jewels in New York. Sotheby's top lot at that sale was a 36.99 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ring that sold for nearly $2.7 million.
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