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Friday, November 21, 2014

9.75-Carat Blue Diamond Fetches World Auction Record $32.6 Million

A 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon set two world auction records Thursday when it sold for more than $32.6 million Sotheby’s New York. 

The price, smashing its high estimate of $15 million, set a world auction record for any blue diamond; and set a world auction record for price-per-carat for any diamond, at more than $3.3 million per carat.

Seven bidders competed for 20 minutes for the pear-shaped diamond, Sotheby’s said. It ultimately sold to a Hong Kong private collector who named it “The Zoe Diamond.”

The previous auction record for any blue diamond was $24.3 million, set by the Wittelsbach Diamond at Christie’s London in December 2008. The previous per-carat auction record for any diamond was nearly $2.4 million, set by a 14.82 carat fancy vivid orange diamond at Christie’s in Geneva in November 2013.

“From the moment I saw this diamond, I knew that it would be one of the most important stones that I will ever have the privilege of presenting at auction,” said Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York. “Mrs. Mellon’s diamond absolutely deserves the place in the record books that it achieved tonight.”

The diamond was the top lot on the first day of a two-day sale of “Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon: Jewels & Objects of Vertu.” Other jewelry pieces in the sale, which resumes today (Friday), include Verdura, Schlumberger and Givenchy, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Black Starr & Frost. 

Sotheby’s New York auctions of the Mellon Collection continue through Sunday.

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