|The Bulgari Blue Diamond, circa 1972|
Fancy vivid blue diamonds of this size are among the rarest of colored diamonds, the auction house said. It is estimated that one in about 10 million diamonds will possess a color pure enough to qualify as “fancy vivid.” The ring will be priced upon request for prospective bidders, but is expected to achieve in excess of $12 million and is positioned to become one of the top-selling diamonds at auction in 2010.
“The appearance of this sensational jewel on the market is causing a huge stir amongst top jewelry collectors worldwide,” said Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie’s Americas. “This ring’s exceptional quality, rarity and size combined with the coveted imprimatur of the house of Bulgari make this upcoming sale a truly special event in the world of jewelry and one that is certain to make auction history.”
The ring is being offered by a private European collector who has kept it in his family for almost 40 years. According to family tradition, the ring was given as a gift from the collector to his wife in celebration of the birth of their first baby boy. The final sale price in 1972 was about $1 million, a fortune at the time, Christie’s said.