The historic 18.04-carat Rockefeller Emerald was sold to Harry Winston Tuesday at Christie’s New York auction, becoming the most expensive emerald ever sold at auction.

New York--Christie’s set a world record Tuesday with its sale of the Rockefeller Emerald, raking in $5.5 million for the ring, the highest price per carat for an emerald ever sold at auction.

Swatch Group-owned Harry Winston purchased the stone at the Magnificent Jewels & Rockefeller Emerald auction in New York for $305,000 per carat.

Chief Financial Officer Robert Scott was charged with bidding for the emerald at the sale, under instructions from CEO Nayla Hayek to “bring this magnificent gem home at any price.”

“Harry Winston is immensely proud to own the finest emerald in the world, which once belonged to one of America’s most important dynasties,” Hayek said after the sale.

The Rockefeller Emerald is not the first major stone snapped up by Harry Winston since being bought by Swatch Group, though it is the first in a few years. In 2013, the same year it was acquired by Swatch Group, Harry Winston paid $26.7 million for a 101.73-carat D flawless diamond that it renamed the “Winston Legacy.”

The 18.04-carat octagonal step-cut emerald, which is set in a platinum and diamond ring designed by Raymond Yard, has been christened the Rockefeller-Winston Emerald. Its $5.5 million sale was at the higher end of its pre-sale estimate of $4-$6 million.

Also at Tuesday’s auction, a 5.01-carat deep grayish-bluish-green diamond (pictured below) topped its pre-sale estimate of $2-$4 million, going for $4.4 million.

061517 Blue green diamond

Works from an important private collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany & Co., which were once part of the The Garden Museum Collection in Japan, also achieved well over their pre-sale estimates.

For example, a multi-gem pendant circa 1920 by Louis Comfort Tiffany sold for $271,500, eclipsing its pre-sale estimate of $50,000 to $70,000.

All in all, Christie’s Magnificent Jewels & Rockefeller Emerald auction garnered $26.1 million and was sold 83 percent by lot and 89 percent by value.

Christie’s U.S. Head of Jewelry Tom Burstein said: “The historic Rockefeller Emerald and museum-level collections of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Cartier objects formed the core of what was truly a Magnificent Jewels auction.  

“The record prices achieved by the Rockefeller Emerald and fancy deep grayish-bluish-green diamond, coupled with competitive bidding for signed jewelry, underscores the strength in the market for pieces of the highest quality. Our jewelry team is proud to finish the first half on such a strong note and we look forward to the fall sales season.”

Scheduled concurrent with Magnificent Jewels, Christie’s online sale continues to Thursday.

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