Christie’s on Wednesday sold an extremely rare, 17th century fancy deep grayish-blue diamond for $24.3 million, a world record price for any diamond or jewelry sold at auction in London.
The 35.56-ct. Wittelsbach diamond was once owned by King Philip IV of Spain, who purchased for his daughter, Margarita Teresa, for her engagement to Leopold I of Austria in 1664. It was mined in India and owned by the same private collector since 1964.
François Curiel, chairman of Christie’s Europe and auctioneer for the sale, said Bond Street jeweler Laurence Graff bought the VS2 clarity gem, bidding against Aleks Paul of Essex Global Trading, a professional of Russian origin based in New York.
“In the midst of these challenging times, we were thrilled to achieve an historic price for an historic diamond,” Curiel said.
The price for Wittelsbach topped the previous record of $16.5 million for a 100ct diamond in 1995 in Geneva, Curiel said.
The was sold as part of Christie’s “Jewels: The London Sale” auction on Wednesday. The auction took in more than $27.2 million and sold 89 percent of its lots by value, Christie’s said.