Monday 24th November 2014

Blue Diamond Sets New Auction Records

Nov 21, 2014 10:35 AM By Amber Michelle RAPAPORT... A fancy vivid blue diamond from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon set new auction records at Sotheby’s New York last night. The top lot of the evening sale was the 9.75-carat, VVS2, fancy vivid blue, pear-shaped diamond pendant that sold for $32,645,000 or $3,348,205 per carat, setting a new world auction record total price for any blue diamond and a new world auction record price-per-carat for any diamond. The diamond had a presale estimate of $10 million to $15 million.

A saleroom filled with onlookers watched on tenterhooks as clients placed their bids on the phone. Rivalry between seven bidders was calm but brisk and the field was eventually narrowed down to two bidders in a duel that lasted for about 20 minutes. A round of applause broke out in the room as the bidding ended when a private collector in Hong Kong prevailed and named the new acquisition The Zoe Diamond.

This particular diamond is notable for the purity of the blue with no modifying colors, and its high clarity as many blue diamonds contain graining or other imperfections that develop as the crystals form. The evening session of the sale totaled $42.1 million for 42 lots, of which 41 sold.

A collection of jewelry signed by Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Verdura sold quickly to eager buyers for strong prices. Of the lots sold, 93 percent went over their high estimates.

Mellon was a noted philanthropist and horticulturist. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation that supports the Oak Spring Garden Library and is endowed to continue on the Mellon’s Upperville estate in Virginia to support horticultural and educational endeavors.

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