Big Blue Hits the Auction Block

On October 20, Christie’s will offer the BVLGARI Blue, a 10.95-carat triangular-cut fancy vivid blue diamond set alongside a 9.87-carat white diamond in a ring, and it’s likely to make auction history. The ring is the highlight of Jewels: The New York Sale, and it is the largest fancy vivid blue diamond of this cut ever to be offered at auction. So rare, only 1 in 10 million diamonds will possess a color intense enough to be qualified as fancy vivid blue by the Gemological Institute of America. It’s expected to fetch more than $12 million.

“Fancy vivid blue diamonds of this size are among the most sought-after of colored diamonds and remain extremely difficult to find, given the scarcity of natural-colored rough,” said Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie’s Americas. “This ring’s exceptional quality, rarity, and size combined with the coveted imprimatur of the house of BVLGARI make this upcoming sale a truly special event in the world of jewelry and one that is certain to make auction history.”

The ring was purchased by a European man at BVLGARI in Italy in 1972 to commemorate the birth of his first son. He paid about $1 million for the ring, and at the time it was considered a huge price. It has remained in the hands of its original owners.

A blue diamond is the result of the diamond coming in contact with trace elements of boron, but few stones of deep-blue color in larger sizes are ever discovered. In the past few years, a few important blues have broken records, including the Wittelsbach, a 17th-century fancy, deep grayish-blue gem of 35.56 carats that Laurence Graff purchased at Christie’s London in December 2008 for $24.3 million. It was the highest ever price paid for any diamond or jewel at auction. The BVLGARI blue promises to deliver high drama in the auction room on October 20. (www.christies.com)

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