The historic Farnese Blue diamond smashed its pre-sale estimate at Sotheby’s auction in Geneva on Tuesday.
The 6.16-carat, pear-shaped, fancy dark grey-blue, SI1-clarity diamond, which Queen Elisabeth Farnese of Spain received on her wedding day, passed through four prominent European royal families. The stone fetched $6.7 million, or $1.1 million per carat, well above its pre-sale estimate of $3.6 million to $5.2 million.
“The Farnese Blue is quite simply an unforgettable diamond, and everyone who set their eyes on it was mesmerized by its extraordinary color — the rich blue of the deepest ocean,” said Daniela Mascetti, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and its senior international jewelry specialist. “As was evidenced by the competition between bidders this evening, the response from collectors has matched our own excitement for this diamond.”
Other top lots at the sale included two D-color, flawless, type Ila white diamond rings. A round brilliant-cut, 51.71-carat ring went for $9.3 million, surpassing its $7.3 million to $8 million estimate, while an oval-cut, 50.39-carat garnered $8.1 million, exceeding its initial price tag of $7.3 million to $8 million.
Pinks achieved record prices at the auction, with a 9.70-carat, fancy light purplish-pink diamond ring selling for $2.6 million, setting two records for its color category — for price per carat, and for total price. A 2.63-carat fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond ring also earned the highest price at an auction for its color category at $2.4 million, while a 95.45-carat pink sapphire and diamond pendant set a record price of $2.3 million for a pink sapphire.
The Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction yielded $85.6 million in sales. In total, 82% of lots sold, with 70% of those achieving more than their high pre-sale estimates, Sotheby’s said.