Did someone forget to tell the buyer that we were in an economic crisis?
Bloomberg: A coloured diamond once owned by King Philip IV of Spain sold for 16.4 million pounds ($24.3 million) with fees at Christie’s International in London today, defying investor nervousness about economic recession.
Christie’s said the price was a record for any jewel sold at auction. The 35.56-carat grayish-blue gem, mined in India and owned by the same private collector since 1964, had been expected to fetch 9 million pounds. The hammer price was 14.6 million pounds before fees.
Raymond Sancroft-Baker, a Christie’s jewelry specialist, bought the gem on behalf of London dealer Laurence Graff, who was bidding by telephone. Christie’s said he was underbid by Aleks Paul, of Essex Global Trading, an art professional of Russian origin based in New York.
….King Philip (1605-1665) gave the stone to his daughter, the Infanta Margarita Teresa, as part of the dowry of her marriage in 1667 to the Emperor Leopold I of Austria. In the 18th century, it entered the crown jewels of the Bavarian royal family, and has been known as the “Wittelsbach Diamond” ever since, Christie’s said.
According to the Gemological Institute of America, whose research was published in Christie’s catalogue, the most famous coloured diamond in the world is the 45.52-carat blue Hope diamond in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. The 35.56-carat Wittelsbach diamond rivals the Hope “in all attributes,” said the GIA.