Blue Diamond Ring sets record price at auction

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‘Bulgari Blue’ sets record price at auction

The “Bulgari Blue” features a 9.87-carat, triangular-shaped colorless diamond paired with a 10.95-carat, triangular-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond.

New York—The “Bulgari Blue,” a two-stone diamond ring featuring the largest triangular-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction, set a world record Wednesday evening, selling for $15.7 million at Christie’s.

Designed by Bulgari in the 1970s, the record-breaking ring is currently the top jewel sold at auction in 2010.

Anticipated by the auction house to fetch more than $12 million at Christie’s “Jewels: The New York Sale” on Oct. 20, the Bulgari Blue was met by a head-to-head bidding battle involving one client in the room and two clients on the phone. After five minutes of bidding for the sale’s grand finale piece, the hammer fell to an Asian collector for $15,762,500, with premium.

According to Francois Curiel, president of Christie’s Asia and the international head of jewelry at Christie’s, bidding for the ring began with an $8 million bid on the phone with Vickie Sek, Christie’s head of jewelry for Asia. A European collector on the phone with Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie’s Americas, placed a bid and then the pair traded bids back and forth in $500,000 increments until Sek’s client prevailed. The final $15.7 million bid set a world record price per carat for a blue diamond.

Offered for sale by a private European collector who had kept the ring for almost 40 years, the Bulgari Blue had been purchased by the collector at Bulgari’s flagship boutique in Rome in 1972. It was a gift for his wife in celebration of the birth of their first child. The final sale price in 1972 was about $1 million.

The ring features a 9.87-carat, triangular-shaped colorless diamond paired with a 10.95-carat, triangular-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond. According to Christie’s, fancy vivid blue diamonds are among the rarest and most sought-after colored diamonds, as only one in about 10 million possess a color pure enough to qualify as “fancy vivid.”

The sale of the Bulgari Blue culminated a 448-lot auction that attained a total of $52.5 million.

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