THE BVLGARI BLUE -THE LARGEST TRIANGULAR-SHAPED FANCY VIVID BLUE DIAMOND EVER OFFERED AT AUCTION - FETCHES $15.7 MILLION
20 October 2010 - New York –
Auction history was made Wednesday evening in New York when The BVLGARI Blue Diamond
, the largest triangular-shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction, sold for $15.7 million – making it the top jewel sold at auction thus far in 2010. This exceptional stone, mounted as a two-stone diamond ring designed in the 1970s by the legendary house of BVLGARI in Rome, was the star lot of Christie’s major Jewels: The New York Sale
on October 20.
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 nearly 450 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 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 opened 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 and Vickie Sek’s client emerged as the winner of this extremely rare blue diamond at $15.7 million – representing a world record price per carat for a blue diamond”
Designed by the legendary house of BVLGARI in the 1970s, the ring features a triangular-shaped colorless diamond of 9.87 carats paired with a stunning triangular-shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond of 10.95 carats. Fancy Vivid blue diamonds are among the rarest and most sought-after of colored diamonds, as only one in about 10 million possess a color 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. The gentleman 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 astonishing result for The BVLGARI Blue provided a dramatic finish to the 447-lot auction and brought the collective total to an outstanding $52.5 million (see related results). Earlier in the day, Christie’s achieved an impressive 100% sell-through rate for Jeweled Elegance: The Eye of A Distinguished Collector, a carefully-curated single-owner collection of signed jewels from the most celebrated designers, including Cartier, David Webb, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Harry Winston. The entire morning session of the October 20 auction was devoted to this dazzling assemblage of over 160 individual pieces, which realized a combined total of $11.4 million, far above its pre-sale high estimate.
The triumphant success of The BVLGARI Blue and the Jeweled Elegance collection offers further proof that the global market for top-quality colored and colorless diamonds and signed jewels at auction remains stronger than ever.
Note to editors: Complete results of Christie’s Jewels: The New York Sale are available in a separate report, and online at www.christies.com. High-res images available upon request.
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*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.