A rare Fancy Vivid Blue diamond from the celebrated collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon sold for a staggering $32,645,000 ($3,348,205 per carat) – a new world auction record total price for any blue diamond and a new world auction record for price-per-carat for any diamond at Sotheby’s New York headquarters.
The 9.75 carat, pear-shaped diamond was eagerly sought after by seven bidders who competed for 20 minutes for the extraordinary stone, ultimately selling to a Hong Kong private collector who has named the stone The Zoe Diamond.
Gary Schuler, Head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York, commented: “From the moment I saw this diamond, I knew that it would be one of the most important stones that I will ever have the privilege of presenting at auction. It was incredible to see each of my colleagues experience the diamond for the first time, watching as the blue hue warmed and intensified in front of them with every minute in natural light. Mrs. Mellon’s diamond absolutely deserves the place in the record books that it achieved tonight.”
The first session of Sotheby’s sale of Jewels & Objects of Vertu from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon totaled $42.1 million tonight – already well in excess of the entire sale’s $19.2 million high estimate, and with more than 200 lots to be offered tomorrow morning. All but one of the 42 lots on offer tonight found buyers, with 93% of sold lots achieving prices in excess of their high estimates.
Additional highlights from the offering included:
• An Important Fancy Blue Diamond Pendant, the pear-shaped diamond weighing 9.15 carats, VS1 clarity, which sold for $2,965,000, double its high estimate of $1.5 million
• An Exquisite Gold and Diamond Rivière by Cartier circa 1948, set with 29 old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 111.00 carats and completed with a clasp set with a round Fancy Deep Yellow diamond weighing 4.20 carats, which rose to $2,797,00, nearly double its $1.5 million high estimate