The BVLGARI Blue Diamond sells for $15.7 million
October 24, 2010 – The BVLGARI Blue Diamond, the largest triangular-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction, sold for $15.7 million in New York on October 20, making it the top jewel sold at auction so far in 2010. It also achieved a world record price per carat for a blue diamond.
This exceptional stone, mounted as a two-stone diamond ring designed in the 1970s by BVLGARI in Rome, was the star lot of Christie’s major Jewels: The New York Sale.
Throughout the afternoon, excitement mounted in the crowded saleroom as François Curiel, President of Christie’s Asia and International Head of Jewelry at Christie’s, and Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry at Christie’s Americas, auctioned over 450 individual items leading up to the highly anticipated grand finale of the sale, the sensational two-stone diamond ring known as The BVLGARI Blue.
Anticipated to realize in excess of $12 million, this exceptional jewel was greeted by a head-to-head bidding battle involving one client in the room and two on the phone.
After five minutes of bidding, the hammer fell to an Asian collector for $15,762,500 with premium.
“At 7:15pm, when The BVLGARI Blue reached the auction block, the saleroom remained packed with collectors eagerly awaiting the star lot of this blockbuster sale,” said François Curiel.
“The bidding started with an $8 million bid from a client on the phone with Vickie Sek, Christie’s Head of Jewelry for Asia. It swiftly turned into a one-on-one bidding war with a European collector on the phone with Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry for Christie’s Americas.
“The pair traded bids back and forth in $500,000 increments until the final bid was reached with Vickie Sek’s client emerging victorious as the winner of this extremely rare blue diamond at $15.7 million – a world record price per carat for a blue diamond.”
Designed by BVLGARI in the 1970s, the ring features a triangular-shaped colourless diamond of 9.87 carats paired with a triangular-shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond of 10.95 carats.
Fancy Vivid blue diamonds are among the rarest and most sought-after of coloured diamonds, as only one in about 10 million possess a colour pure enough to qualify as “Fancy Vivid”.
Due to their rarity and increasingly limited supply, demand has rapidly driven prices to great heights, with particular strength seen for those stones
weighing more than 10 carats.
Large, natural blue diamonds, in particular those possessing the coveted vivid blue tone and saturation, have become highly prized on the international market.
The BVLGARI Blue was offered for sale by a private European collector who has kept the ring in his family for almost 40 years. He had originally purchased the ring at BVLGARI’s flagship boutique on Via dei Condotti in Rome in 1972, as a unique gift for his wife in celebration of the birth of their first child, a baby boy.
The final sale price in 1972 was about $1 million US.
The result for The BVLGARI Blue provided a dramatic finish to the 447-lot auction and brought the collective total to $52.5 million.