POST-SALE RELEASE: THE POWER OF PINK | CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK MAGNIFICENT JEWELS AUCTION ACHIEVES US$81.3 MILLION

New York

MOST VALUABLE GOLCONDA DIAMOND EVER SOLD AT AUCTION 

MOST VALUABLE DIAMOND EVER SOLD AT CHRISTIE’S

AND AT AUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES

New York – An extraordinary 34.65 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond set a new record high at Christie’s New York on April 16, selling for $39,323,750 (£25,560,438 / €29,886,050) with premium, or $1,135,000 per carat. The diamond – a cushion-cut sparkler that originated from the ancient Golconda mines in South Central India -- was purchased by an anonymous collector bidding by phone.

The sale price represents a new record for any jewel sold at Christie’s, surpassing the previous house record of $24.3 million set in December 2008 with the sale of the Wittelsbach Diamond. Among important large diamonds, the Princie possesses all of the most desirable qualities today’s collectors seek in diamonds: large size, desirable shape and polish, exceptional color and quality, Golconda origins, and a noble history. It was first recorded in the holdings of the Royal family of Hyderabad, rulers of one of the wealthiest provinces of the Mughal Empire. First offered at auction in 1960 as “Property of a Gentleman” (later revealed to be the Nizam of Hyderabad himself) the diamond was purchased by the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels for £46,000, which corresponds to US$1.3 million today and highlights the tremendous investment opportunities in the world of diamonds. The diamond’s unique name was bestowed at a party at the firm’s Paris store, where it was christened the “Princie” in honor of the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda, who attended the party with his mother Maharani Sita Devi. 

Further highlights of the day-long auction at Christie’s included top-quality white diamonds and natural pearls. The second highest price of $4,435,750 was achieved for a rectangular-cut D color diamond of 30.32 carats, or $146,300 per carat. A superb marquise-cut D color diamond ring by Harry Winston fetched $3,259,750, and a three-strand natural pearl necklace was purchased by a Middle East buyer for $1,131,750. The total sale of over 290 jewels realized a combined total of $81,358,700 (£52,883,155/ €61,832,612), marking the highest various owner jewelry sale total in the United States.

Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry, Christie’s Americas and Switzerland, commented: “A major event took place in the global auction industry with the record breaking sale of The Princie Diamond at Christie’s New York. Aside from Christie’s sale of the legendary Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, this was the most successful jewelry auction ever held in the United States and Christie’s was proud to have orchestrated the sale of such an historic gemstone.”

Christie’s next major jewels auctions will take place in Geneva on May 15 and in Hong Kong on May 28.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.