Diamonds are forever: Multi-million dollar rare rocks break records in Geneva

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An exceptionally rare deep blue diamond has sold at Sotheby’s auction for US$10.86 million, three times the reserve. The price has set a world record for a blue diamond per carat.

Blue-chip luxury jeweler Laurence Graff has purchased the fancy deep blue briolette diamond weighing 10.48 carats, described as “an extraordinary stone, a very, very mystical deep blue.”

Passions ran high in the auction room, as a number of collectors were keen to get hold of the blue diamond, which had been estimated to fetch 3.2 million to 4.2 million francs.

Earlier this week rival Christie’s auction house set another record when it sold a 76-carat Archduke Joseph Diamond for nearly $21.5 million in Geneva, a world record auction price per carat for a colorless diamond.

The rock reportedly came from the ancient Golconda mines in India. Named after Archduke Joseph August of Austria, the great-grandson of a Holy Roman emperor and a French king, the diamond passed to his son, Archduke Joseph Francis, who put it in a bank vault, then to an anonymous buyer who kept it in a safe during WWII. In 1993, Christie’s sold it for $6.5 million.

“It’s a great price for a stone of this quality,” Alfredo J. Molina, chairman of California-based jeweler Black, Starr & Frost, told AP about the latest sale results.

“It’s one of a kind, so it’s like saying ‘Are you pleased when you sell the Mona Lisa?’ Or ‘Are you pleased when you sell the Hope Diamond?’ It’s all what the market will bear, and the stone sold for a very serious price,” he added.

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