Plenty of jewels dazzled at Sotheby’s latest event in Geneva on Tuesday—but one stunning gem outshone the rest.
The Bulgari Laguna Blu, deemed the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels event’s top lot, sold for a whopping $25 million after a four-minute bidding war between three telephone bidders and one showroom bidder. The 11.6 carat fancy-vivid blue diamond—recently worn by Priyanka Chopra Jonas to the Met Gala—was the last to take bids in the sale’s second session.
The ultra-rare gem helped the auctioneer’s Swiss outpost achieve its best Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale performance in five years, earning $85 million total via its latest edition. More than half of the auction’s 133 lots sold above their high estimates, according to Sotheby’s, with nearly all lots selling for prices within or above estimates.
The sale of the blue diamond, which sold to a phone bidder, made it the most valuable jewel sold this week in all Geneva jewelry sales. It also keeps its other titles, such as the largest blue diamond in a Bulgari jewel and the brand’s most valuable gem to ever be offered for sale. The Roman jeweler set the oceanic-blue sparkler in a bespoke diamond necklace for Chopra Jonas, and the stone then was removed and remounted onto a ring—similar to the house’s original 1970s design. According to Sotheby’s, “the Bulgari Laguna Blu is a rarity three times over.”
A number of other uniquely colored stones sold for top dollar during the event as well. An impressive fancy-intense pink and fancy-deep-grayish-blue diamond ring (Lot 673), bought by Diacore, went into the auction with a high sales estimate of $10.6 million. The piece locked in $11.8 million for Sotheby’s, exceeding the goal by over $1.1 million. A fancy-vivid-yellow diamond ring (Lot 574) also surpassed the million-dollar mark, securing $1.3 million for the house—or $750,000 more than its high sales estimate of $550,000. Other jewels that sold for over $200,000 include a Harry Winston Fine Padparadscha sapphire and diamond ring, a Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond parure, as well as a sapphire and diamond demi-parure.
Created over 50 years ago, the Laguna Blu diamond is a rather historic gem. “It’s been a privilege to witness the Bulgari Laguna Blu’s glamorous and exciting journey over the past few months, knowing that it was first created in 1970,” Olivier Wagner, Sotheby’s Geneva head of jewelry, said in a statement. “The sale of the Laguna Blu tops the remarkable performance of our Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale that saw exceptional colored gemstones, in particular emeralds and yellow diamonds, punch through their high estimates, in such a spectacular fashion. There is no doubt that high quality high jewelry can still command sky high prices.”