Christie’s Sets All-Time Auction Record: 13 Carat Blue Garners $24 Million

The auction market may have just set a record for the shortest-lived record.

One night after Sotheby’s set a new benchmark for the largest jewelry sale ever with its $141 million sale in Geneva, the Christie’s May 14 Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva “blue” that away with an even-more-incredible $154 million tally.

Both topped the previous champ, Christie’s first-night sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, which brought in $114 million.

The star of the Christie’s show was the Blue, a 13.22 ct. fancy vivid flawless pear-shape that fetched $24.2 million. The stone, accompanied by a letter from GIA that said it was the largest fancy vivid blue the lab had ever seen, was described by jewelry specialist Jean-Marc Lunel as “absolutely pure externally and internally. It is almost a dream.” 

The Blue

The stone’s winner was Harry Winston, which rechristened it the Winston Blue. This is the second time in the last year the Swatch Group–owned retailer purchased a notable stone; it spent $27 million on the 101.73 ct. D flawless Winston Legacy last May.  “When Christie’s announced they were offering the largest flawless fancy vivid blue the GIA had ever graded, I had to buy it,” said Harry Winston CEO Nayla Hayek in a statement. 

At $1,799,953 a carat, the sale may have scored a photo-finish per-carat record for a blue diamond, inching out an April 2013 sale at Bonhams, where a deep-blue cushion fetched $1,799,883 a carat. In any case, says president of Christie’s Switzerland François Curiel, “This is a record for a vivid blue flawless, while the Bonhams stone was deep blue, VS2.” 

The overall hammer price, however, falls slightly short of the $24.3 million paid for the 35.56 ct. Wittelsbach in 2011.

The sale notched four other world auction records, including:

The Ocean Dream, a 5.5 ct. triangular-cut fancy vivid blue-green SI diamond, scored $8.63 million, a world record for a blue-green diamond.


The Ocean Dream

A 76.51 ct. square-cut light pink VVS1 necklace by Leviev realized $10 million, a record total for a pink diamond.

A 21.41 ct. Russian alexandrite took in $1.3 million, a record auction price for a piece of alexandrite.

A 49.04 ct. pink sapphire went for $2 million, a world auction record for a pink sapphire.

“The jewelry market continues to remain extremely vibrant, and we look forward to a buoyant season as we move into auctions at Christie’s Hong Kong, London, Paris, and New York,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of Christie’s jewelry department.

Photos courtesy of Christie’s

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