Marie de Medici wore it at her coronation as Queen Consort of Henry IV in France in 1610, and now the centuries old 35 Carat Beau Sancy Diamond passed down through generations of European royalty fetched $9.57 million at at Sotheby’s auction in Geneva.
The pear-shaped, rose-cut stone attracted fierce bidding and was won by an anonymous buyer. It’s extremely rare for a diamond of this importance to come on the market, said David Bennett of auction house Sotheby’s. It’s never been out of royal hands, it’s of immaculate provenance, it’s in all the history books of famous stones.
The diamond first entered the historical record in 1570 when it was purchased in Constantinople by diplomat, financier and jewel expert Nicolas de Harlay, Lord of Sancy. It was purchased by Henri IV of France for his wife Marie de Medici in 1604. From then until now, the “Beau Sancy” has never been in non-royal hands (as long as you consider the sellers, the House of Hohenzollern, still royal, even though their last scion to sit on a throne was Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany).
Another historical item, the Murat Tiara, sold for $3.87 million. The pearl-and-diamond tiara was created for the marriage of a prince whose ancestors included the husband of Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister.
A diamond brooch known as the Bonnie Prince Charlie sold for $968,085. The brooch features a yellow diamond once owned by Charles Edward Stuart, whose attempt to regain the British crown led to the Battle of Culloden in 1745.
The auction set a new world record of $108,377,219 for a various owner jewelry sale, surpassing the record set by Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2010 of $105 million.