National Jeweler Network

Jewelry Auctions

‘Winston Legacy’ diamond sets auction record

2013-05-16

The newly dubbed “Winston Legacy” is one of the largest pear-shaped diamonds to be discovered to date, and also is one of the most perfect, graded by the Gemological Institute of America as a D color, type IIA flawless stone.

Geneva--A 101.73-carat pear-shaped diamond sold for $26.7 million at Christie’s Geneva on Wednesday, setting a new world auction record for a colorless diamond.

Jewelry and watch company Harry Winston, which recently was acquired by Swatch Group, purchased the D color, flawless diamond and, as is the tradition with large, important stones, gave it a name: the “Winston Legacy.”

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Christie’s had estimated the price of the diamond “in the region of $20 million.”

Overall, Christie’s May 15 sale of Magnificent Jewels totaled $102.1 million, the highest result ever for a various-owner jewelry auction at Christie’s. Twenty lots sold for more than $1 million, with record prices also set for diamonds, pearls and sapphires.

The auction was sold 86 percent by lot and 93 percent by value.

A single-strand pearl necklace with pearls measuring between 13.7 to 10.4 millimeters sold to an anonymous buyer for $8.5 million, setting a world auction record for a single-strand natural pearl necklace.

Diamantaire Laurence Graff placed the winning bid for a 26.24-carat oval-shaped, D color potentially flawless diamond ring, shelling out $4.5 million, or $170,200 per carat.

World auction records also were set for a pair of pearl ear pendants ($2.4 million), per carat for a sapphire ($3.5 million for a 19.88-carat Kashmir sapphire) and for a red diamond ($3.3 million for a 1.92-carat fancy red, VS2 diamond ring).

“World record prices were set … thereby firmly establishing the international appetite for the most beautiful gems and jewels,” said Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry at Christie’s Switzerland and the Americas.