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De Beers Blue Diamond Fetches $32M in Asian Auction Record

Apr 6, 2016 7:52 AM   By Rapaport News
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Sotheby’s sold the ‘De Beers Millennium Jewel 4’ for $31.8 million (HKD 248.3 million) in Hong Kong, setting a record for the highest price ever paid for a jewel at an auction in Asia.

The oval-shaped, 10.10-carat, fancy vivid blue, internally flawless gem fetched $3.2 million per carat, according to a Sotheby’s statement April 5. The sale comes amid strong interest in valuable colored diamonds with recent auctioneers’ estimates of up to $45 million for large stones.

The gem (pictured) is sourced from an Asian private collection and is the only oval-shaped precious stone among 12 rare diamonds – eleven blue and one colorless – in the De Beers Millennium Jewels collection unveiled in 2000 to celebrate the turn of the century.

In total, the auctioneer’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction on April 5 sold $73.3 million of jewels, or 65.7 percent by lots and 69.3 percent by value. A 22.40-carat, D-color, internally flawless diamond ring sold for $3.7 million and four other items fetched more than $2 million, including a jadeite and diamond ring and pair of matching earrings and a 4.08-carat fancy vivid orange diamond and diamond ring.

“Rare and important jewels from Asian private collections lead the strength of the market, with the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, the fancy vivid orange diamond and the strand of natural pearls achieving exceptional prices,” said Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia and chairman of International jewelry for Asia.

The previous auction record for a jewel in Asia was $30.6 million for an oval-shaped, 118.28-carat, D-color, flawless diamond sold by Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2013.

Christie’s is scheduled to auction the 14.62-carat ‘Oppenheimer Blue’ in Geneva on May 18, estimated at $38 million to $45 million. A cushion-cut, 9.54-carat, fancy deep blue, VVS2 diamond ring once belonging to late entertainer and diplomat Shirley Temple is expected to fetch $25 million to $35 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York on April 19.
Tags: asia, Auctions, De Beers, De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, Hong Kong, Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite, Rapaport News, Sotheby’
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