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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Harry Winston and Swatch Group Pay $26.7 Million for 101-Ct. ‘Perfect Diamond’


The Swatch Group and HarryWinston are celebrating their new partnership with the purchase of a pear-shaped, D color, flawless diamond of 101.73 carats for more than $26.7 million at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale Wednesday.

Billed by the auction house as the “perfect diamond,” the price paid set a world auction record for a colorless diamond. The diamond (which sold for $254,400 per carat) has been renamed “The Winston Legacy.”

“The acquisition of ‘Winston's Legacy’ underscores the brand’s continued commitment to perfection and quality at the highest level. A stone of this caliber and rarity is the perfect continuation of Mr. Winston’s legacy as the King of Diamonds,” said Nayla Hayek, the new CEO of Harry Winston.

Rahul Kadakia, head of Jewelry, Christie's Switzerland and Americas, added: “Harry Winston acquired the most perfect diamond ever offered for sale at auction, ‘Winston Legacy,’ continuing the tradition of buying and selling only the very best, a trait of the founder Mr. Winston himself.”

The diamond was the top lot in a sale that fetched a record-breaking $102.1 million, selling 86% by lot and 93% by value, the highest result ever for a various-owner jewelry auction at Christie’s. It included several world records for diamonds, pearls and sapphires. A total of 20 lots sold above $1 million with 147 buyers coming from 31 countries across five continents, Christie’s said.

Among the other notable purchases at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale, are:

* 19.88-carat cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire, named “The Star of Kashmir” sold for more than $3.4 million, or $175,202 per carat, breaking the world auction record for a per-carat sale of a sapphire.

* Single strand of natural pearls measuring from 13.7 to 10.4mm sold for more $8.4 million, setting a world auction record for a single-strand natural pearl necklace.

Drop-shaped natural pearl ear pendants of 261.66 and 216.37 grains sold for more than $2.4 million, setting a world auction record for a pair of pearl ear pendants.

* 1.92-carat fancy red diamond sold for $3.2 million, setting a world auction price for a red diamond.

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