De Beers’ ‘Millenium Blue Diamond Ring sells for $6 million

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This 5.16-carat fancy vivid blue diamond sold for $6.4 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on Wednesday, well exceeding its highest sale estimate of $5.1 million.

Hong Kong–A 5.16-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, once part of De Beers’ Millennium Jewels Collection, sold for $6.4 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on Wednesday, as diamonds continued to show strength in the auction market.

According to a news release from the auction house, Moussaieff of London emerged as the winning bidder for the pear-shaped diamond, which sold for well over its estimated sale price of $4.1 million to $5.1 million following “intense” bidding.

The sought-after stone was once one of the 11 blue diamonds in the Millennium Jewels Collection, a group of rare diamonds selected by Andrew Coxon, president of the De Beers Institute of Diamonds, to mark the turn of the millennium.

Wednesday’s sale of the 5.16-carat millennium blue marks the first time one of these stones has been put up for sale since the diamonds were placed with private collectors in 2000.

“The timeless beauty of a De Beers-selected Millennium blue diamond will be remembered long after its near record-setting price has been forgotten,” Coxon said in a press release from De Beers in connection with the sale. “Personally, I wish I could have bought it back for De Beers but professionally speaking, I sincerely congratulate the new owners and I am happy that the new owners appreciated this particular De Beers-selected diamond.”

Overall, Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale 2010” garnered $52.4 million, achieving the highest-ever dollar amount for a sale of this category conducted by Sotheby’s Hong Kong, according to the release from Sotheby’s.

Other top lots snapped up at Wednesday’s sale include a diamond rivière necklace containing 50 D-color, internally flawless diamonds, which sold for to a private buyer from Hong Kong for $6.7 million, exceeding its estimate of $4.1 million to $5.1 million.

In addition, a private buyer from Southeast Asia paid $5.5 million for a jadeite and diamond necklace, estimated to garner between $4.9 million and $6.4 million, and a 33.31-carat, pear-shaped D color internally flawless white diamond pendant garnered $2.5 million.

Quek Chin Yeow, head of the Sotheby’s Hong Kong jewelry department and deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said in the release that Wednesday’s record-setting sale demonstrates that perfection and rarity are what drive buyers and collectors in this market.

“Our top lots … provided the very special and the very rare and were the objects of vigorous competition from bidders across Asia and the world, both private collection and trade,” he said. “These results were the latest in a series of triumphs for Sotheby’s Hong Kong and achieved strong prices for white diamonds, colored diamonds, jadeite and pearls.”

Next month in Geneva, Sotheby’s will put another blue diamond up on the auction block.

According to the release, a 5.02-carat, pear-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond mounted alongside a 5.42-carat colorless diamond of the same shape is expected to fetch between $4 million and $7 million at Sotheby’s “Evening Sale of Magnificent Jewels,” scheduled for May 11 at the Beau-Rivage hotel in Geneva.

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