84-ct. Diamond Sold for $16.2 Million

The largest, purest white flawless brilliant-cut diamond ever to be offered at auction was acquired by Georges Marciano, founder of Guess? Jeans, for nearly $16.2 million at Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels” auction in Geneva Wednesday.

The 84-ct. diamond fetched the second highest price for a diamond at auction and at $191,980 per carat, the highest price per carat ever paid for a white diamond at auction. Marciano has already exercised his right to name the diamond, which is now known as the “Chloe Diamond,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.

“The result achieved tonight for the Chloe Diamond is one of the highlights of my career,” said David Bennett, chairman of Jewellery for Sotheby’s Europe & the Middle East. “It has been a privilege to work on the marketing and sale of this magnificent stone, which ranks among the most beautiful diamonds I have ever seen.”

Sotheby’s continues to hold the world record for a single precious stone and jewel of any kind for “The Star of the Season,” which was sold in 1995 for $16.5 million.

“I am absolutely delighted with the fantastic result achieved tonight by Sotheby’s for this phenomenal, 84.37-ct. stone,” said Ron Cohen, chief executive officer of Clean Diamonds Inc., Los Angeles, which sold the diamond. “When I first saw the diamond in its rough form, weighing 365 cts. and covering the palm of my hand, I knew immediately that it was of gem quality.

Cohen said it took more than two years to plan and cut the stone.

The Sotheby’s auction Wednesday night achieved nearly $57 million in sales. Other highlights included:

* An extremely rare fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond, weighing 4.16 cts. and mounted as a ring, which sold for $4.7 million. The per-carat price was more than $1.1 million, making it the second highest price per carat paid for a colored diamond at auction.

* The Duchess of Windsor’s diamond and emerald bracelet, which was her Christmas gift in 1935 from Edward, then Prince of Wales, fetched more than a $1 million—more than three times its price in 1987.

* A ring from the collection of Countess Mona Bismarck set with a magnificent step-cut emerald weighing approximately 9.50 cts. within a double frame of circular-cut diamonds, sold for $257,178. In the Mona Bismarck sale at Sotheby’s in May 1986, it was sold for just CHF 143,000.

* Signed period pieces sold well, with a particularly high price achieved for a fine diamond bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1950, which sold for $588,217. There were bidders competing for the piece, the winning bid coming from an anonymous collector bidding on the telephone.

The auction brings the 2007 total for Magnificent Jewels sold at Sotheby’s Switzerland to $106 million—the highest total for annual sales of jewelry in Switzerland since 1995.