34-Carat Princie Diamond Fetches Nearly $40 Million, Setting Two Records
4/16/2013 @ 5:49PM |319 views
Update: The Princie Diamond, a 34.65-carat fancy intense pink cushion-cut diamond that boasts purity, rarity and provenance, sold for more than $39.3 million at Christie’s New York Spring Magnificent Jewels sale Tuesday. The sale price represents a new record for any jewel sold at Christie’s, surpassing the previous house record of $24.3 million set in December 2008 with the sale of the Wittelsbach Diamond.
The diamond’s origins can be traced back to the ancient diamond mines of Golconda in South Central India. It was first recorded among the holdings of the Royal family of Hyderabad, rulers of one of the wealthiest provinces of the Mughal Empire .
The sale price, which comes out to more than $1.1 million per carat, also set a record for being the most valuable diamond to ever come out of the famed mine, according to the auction house. It was purchased by an anonymous collector bidding by phone.
“A major event took place in the global auction industry with the record breaking sale of The Princie Diamond at Christie’s New York,” said Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry, Christie’s Americas and Switzerland.
The Type IIa diamond, considered the most chemically pure and often having exceptional optical transparency, was first offered at auction in 1960 as “Property of a Gentleman,” who was later revealed to be the Nizam of Hyderabad himself. The diamond was purchased by the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels for £46,000. The diamond’s unique name was bestowed at a party at the firm’s Paris store, where it was christened the “Princie” in honor of the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda, who attended the party with his mother Maharani Sita.
The total sale of over 290 jewels realized a combined total of more than $81.35 million, “marking the highest various owner jewelry sale total in the United States,” according to the auction house.