A 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon sold for more than $32.6 million, shattering its high estimate of $15 million at Sotheby’s New York Thursday. The price set a world auction record for any blue diamond; and at more than $3.3 million per carat, it set a world auction record for price-per-carat for any diamond.
The pear-shaped diamond was sought after by seven bidders who competed for 20 minutes for the gem, Sotheby’s said. It ultimately sold to a Hong Kong private collector who named it “The Zoe Diamond.”
“From the moment I saw this diamond, I knew that it would be one of the most important stones that I will ever have the privilege of presenting at auction,” said Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York. “Mrs Mellon’s diamond absolutely deserves the place in the record books that it achieved tonight.”
The previous auction record for any blue diamond was $24.3 million, set by the Wittelsbach Diamond at Christie’s London in December 2008. The previous per-carat auction record for any diamond was nearly $2.4 million, set by a 14.82 carat fancy vivid orange diamond at Christie’s in Geneva in November 2013.
The diamond was the top lot on the first day of a two-day sale of “Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon: Jewels & Objects of Vertu.” Other jewelry pieces in the sale, which resumes today (Friday), include Verdura, Schlumberger and Givenchy, (all of whom Mrs. Mellon had a close relationship with, the auction house said) as well as items by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Black Starr & Frost.
Sotheby’s New York auctions of the Mellon Collection continue through Sunday.