One of the world’s rarest stones, a blue diamond, has sold for £1,889,250 ($2.9 million) at the Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale in New Bond Street, on September 21st. This stunning Diamond and Blue Diamond Crossover Ring was customized from Bulgari in 1960s by a private European collector who gifted that to his wife.
This elegant ring is a perfect example of the amazing craftsmanship of Bulgari, well known for its unique and intricate designs. The ring is studded with two crossover diamonds — rare blue and vivid white. The blue diamond used in the ring has been rated as highest grading for a colored diamond that weighs 3.72 and SI2 clarity. The white diamond weighs 3.93 carats, D color and is certified as VS2 clarity.
The term fancy is used to describe a diamond of intense colour and the colour fancy vivid blue is one of the rarest. Blue diamonds are structurally the purest of all diamonds, with barely any impurities within their crystal lattice. They account for less than one percent of all diamonds mined. Only one in about ten blue diamonds of this size has a color vivid enough to qualify as a fancy vivid.
Seen in public for the first time the ring nicknamed The Bulgari Blue was expected to fetch £800,000 but widespread interest created a bidding frenzy. With collectors battling it out for the top lot the diamond and blue diamond crossover ring finally sold to a phone bidder.
Other signed pieces of jewellery offered by Bonhams were highly sought after, including a diamond single-stone ring by Harry Winston. Estimated at £120,000 – 150,000, the step-cut diamond weighed 7.62 carats, with E colour and VS1 clarity, realised £265,250. Also by Harry Winston, a stunning diamond necklace, designed as a riviere of graduated brilliant-cut diamond between course of smaller brilliant-cut diamonds, weighing 33 carats in total, surpassed its presale estimate of £80,000 – 120,000 to sell for £199,250. A second blue diamond, classified as fancy-greyish blue, circa 1925 sold for £103,250, over double its presale estimate.
A rare peacock brooch set with diamonds and gems by the French Imperial jeweller Gustave Baugrand circa 1867 made four times over the pre-sale estimate, selling for £56,450. Top prices were also realised for natural pearls, with a number of lots exceeding their presale estimates. A double-row natural pearl necklace with a diamond clasp sold for £253,250. Sale realises £5.1 Million with 90% sold by value.
Last year another blue diamond ring made by Bulgari in the 1970s set a record price selling at a New York auction house for £886,000 per carat, making it the top seller in the Christie’s sale which featured over 450 items. Diamond prices have remained relatively stable throughout the recession making them a good hedge for investors. Jean Ghika, Director of jewellery at Bonham’s said: Despite tough economic times, interest in pieces of jewellery of the highest quality is increasing. It is clear from the results of this sale that there are certainly some clients who are attracted by the fact that jewellery is a tangible asset which may grow in value in years to come.
Jewlery lovers and collectors may also check out the collection of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry that will be sold at Christie’s in New York Dec. 13-14.