392 Carat Sapphire Sets World Record $17.3 M
“Blue Belle of Asia”, the world’s fourth largest faceted sapphire sold for nearly $17.3 million at Christie’s Geneva auction, Magnificent Jewels. The sale set a world record for any sapphire sold at auction. The 392.52 carat cushion shaped Ceylon sapphire destroyed the auctions pre-sale estimate of $10 million.
The history surrounding the large, and illustrious gemstone began when it was discovered in 1926 in Pelmadula, Ratnapura, also known as “The City of Gems” in Ceylon, and subsequently sold to a British motor magnate, Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors Limited. This purchase is rumored to be a present to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for her Coronation Day on May 12, 1937.
The sapphire is suspended on a diamond tassel pendant and attached to a diamond neck chain mounted in gold.
Christie’s Geneva auction, Magnificent Jewels achieve more than $150.2 million, with 89% sold by lot and 94% by value. This auction became the highest total for any Magnificent Jewels auction in the world.
Other notable lots included a pair of ear pendants that highlighted a 6.95 carat pear shaped fancy vivid blue diamond, and a 6.79 carat pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond, which was purchased for over $15.8 million by world renowned diamond jeweler, Lauren Graff. Referred as “A Bulgari Masterpiece”, the fancy colored diamonds are topped with marquise and pear-shaped diamond clusters that weigh approximately 19.28 carats.
Another notable lot was the “Feuilles de Groseillier” brooch, which was commissioned in 1855 by Empress Eugenie of France (1826-1920) to esteemed French jeweler Alfred Bapst. This illustrious piece was a part of the collection, French Crown Jewels. The sale achieve over $2.3 million.