In less than 24 hours, Christie’s jewel auction upstaged Sotheby’s by breaking the record that had been set just the evening before. On Tuesday, Sotheby’s netted a paltry total of $141.5 million dollars in sales, only to be succeeded on Wednesday by Christie’s total auction income of $154.2 million.
Among the sales of note, including a belle epoque diamond brooch by Cartier that sold for almost $18 million and a pear-shaped D-color flawless 75.97 carat-diamond that sold for about $15 million, “The Blue” was the real show-stopper. As the world’s largest flawless vivid blue diamond, what was known as “The Blue” is now “The Winston Blue.” The diamond was purchased by Swatch Group’s Harry Winston brand for $23.8 million, and measures 13.22 carats. It sold at a record $2 million dollars per carat for a blue diamond. Beatrice Howald, spokeswoman for Swatch Group, said “Stones of this caliber and rarity perfectly fit Mr. Winston’s legacy as the King of Diamonds.”
Only one in every 10,000 diamonds formed is naturally colored. Like “The Winston Blue,” the color in fancy diamonds has been produced by elemental traces within the carbon, specifically boron in blue diamonds, during formation. The most famous of these is without doubt the “Hope Diamond,” the supposedly cursed deep blue diamond of 45.52 carats, which now resides at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.