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May 25, 2009

Rare Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Goes For A Record $9,488,754 At Sotheby’s

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Sotheby’s realized a sum of $9,488,754 (CHF 10,498,500 / €7,024,336) for a fancy vivid blue, internally flawless cushion-shaped diamond weighing 7.03 carats from Petra Diamonds’ historic Cullinan mine – the highest price for a fancy vivid blue diamond sold at auction and the record price per carat for any gemstone sold at auction of $1,349,752 – against a pre-sale estimate of US$5.8-8.5 million/ CHF6.8-10 million as part of its Magnificent Jewels sale.              The winning bidder, who wishes to remain anonymous, is yet to exercise their privilege to name the stone.             Commenting on tonight’s sale of the fancy vivid blue diamond, David Bennett, Chairman, Europe & the Middle East, Sotheby’s International Jewellery department, said:              “We are absolutely thrilled with the price achieved for this exceptional stone, which ranks as the highest price ever established for a fancy vivid blue diamond.  It has been a real privilege to offer a diamond of this importance as the centrepiece of our sale and we have seen it capture the imagination of collectors around the world – particularly in Hong Kong, New York, London and Geneva, where we have exhibited it over the last few weeks.  It has also been very exciting and rewarding to work so closely with Petra Diamonds and to follow the progress of this remarkable gem over the last few months; from its emergence in its initial rough state, through its various stages of cutting and polishing, to its auction success on the international stage this evening.”             The diamond, which was cut from a 26.58 carat rough, was discovered in 2008 at Petra Diamonds’ historic Cullinan diamond mine in South Africa, the world’s most consistently reliable source of blue diamonds.  The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has graded the stone as fancy vivid blue in colour and internally flawless in clarity, the highest possible grading for a blue diamond. 

www.sothebys.com

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