A 300-year old Farnese Blue diamond that was in possession of royal families was auctioned off for a whopping $6.7 million in Geneva.
The 6.16-carat-pear-shaped blue diamond, which was in the market for the first time, exceeded its expected price of $5.2 million that was set by auction house Sotheby’s. The Farnese Blue Diamond was presented to Queen of Spain Elizabeth Farnese on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Philip V of Spain in 1715. It has since then been passed down to various generations of royal families within Europe.
The diamond comes from the famed Golconda mine that was situated in South India.
"The Farnese Blue is quite simply an unforgettable diamond, and everyone who set their eyes on it was mesmerized by its extraordinary colour: the rich blue of the deepest ocean. As was evidenced by the competition between bidders this evening, the response from collectors has matched our own excitement for this diamond," said Daniela Mascetti, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe and Senior International Jewellery Specialist.
Along with the Farnese Blue Diamond, Sotheby’s had also auctioned two large diamonds - both weighing over 50 carats. These were the second largest diamonds to appear at an auction and reportedly sold for more than the Blue Diamond.
“The stones, a 50.39-carat oval diamond and a 51.71-carat round brilliant-cut diamond, are D-Colour (the most coveted hue for white diamonds), have Flawless clarity and belong to the highly rarefied ‘Type IIa’ group, made up of just 2% of gem diamonds with the highest optical transparency. The diamonds were discovered and purchased at tender in Botswana,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.
“The round and oval diamonds were expertly cut in Antwerp (from rough diamonds weighing 196 carats and 155 carats respectively), and have been found by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to have excellent polish and symmetry. This is hugely important in ensuring that light passing through the stone is unimpeded, resulting in extraordinary sparkle and scintillation. Each has been given the top grading for its respective shape.”
Sotheby’s Geneva auction sold 372 lots for a sum of $85.6 million. Out of this, 70% exceeded the price estimates that were set initially. Some of the highlights of the sale were on display earlier this month at an exhibition in Dubai.