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Thursday, June 9, 2016

24-Carat ‘Cullinan Dream’ Fetches $25.3 Million

The “Cullinan Dream,” the largest and most expensive fancy intense blue diamond ever sold at auction, fetched $25.3 million Thursday at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale. 

The 24.18-carat cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut gem was the top item. Its price was at the low end of its $23 – $29 million estimate.

The diamond, set on a platinum ring flanked with classic baguette-cut diamonds, is nearly 10 carats larger than the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” which sold for a world auction record of $57.5 million and was previously the largest blue diamond ever sold at auction.

Among those in the audience was Mark Cullinan, an international jewelry dealer and the great grandson of Sir Thomas Cullinan, who discovered Petra's Cullinan Diamond Mine in 1898, where the Cullinan Dream originated. The Cullinan mine has been associated with some of the most significant blue and pink diamonds to come to market, including the 10.1-carat “De Beers Millennium Jewel 4,” that sold for $31.8 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April; and the 12.03-carat “Blue Moon” that sold for $48.4 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2015.

“It was a great pleasure to be in New York for this exciting auction and to see the fantastic price achieved for a diamond representing a new generation of discoveries from Petra's Cullinan Diamond Mine,” Mark Cullinan said. “My great-grandfather would be delighted to see how one of the newest exceptional blue diamonds from the mine he discovered resonates with top collectors in the market today.”

The Cullinan Dream is the top item among the 260 lots on offer at Christie’s New York sale that achieved more than $42.2 million, including four items that sold for more than $1 million. 

The other top lots of the auction include:

* A 52.76-carat oval brilliant-cut diamond mounted on a platinum ring that sold for just over $2 million.

* A 51.06-carat cut-cornered square modified brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamond mounted in 18k gold that sold for more than $1.6 million. 

* Diamond earrings, each suspending a cushion brilliant-cut diamond, weighing approximately 21.21 and 20.80 carats, from a graduated trapezoid-cut diamond line to the circular-cut diamond French wire, mounted in platinum, which sold for $1.3 million. 

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