By Hannah Connorton
Geneva--The largest fancy vivid blue diamond in the world sold for $23.8 million at Christie’s Wednesday, pushing the auction total past $150 million and setting a new world auction record for a jewelry sale.

042314 C-Article copyThe sale of “The Winston Blue” helped bring Christie’s auction held Wednesday in Geneva to the status of highest total ever for a jewelry auction. The diamond sold for more than $23 million.A record-setter in its own right, the 13.22-carat blue diamond went for $1.8 million per carat, which is now the highest price per carat paid for a blue diamond.

Swatch Group-owned Harry Winston bought the stone and promptly renamed it “The Winston Blue.”

“In January 2013 we purchased Harry Winston and since then my ambition has been to acquire the most desirable and unique gems,” said Harry Winston CEO Nayla Hayek. “When Christie’s announced they were offering the largest flawless fancy vivid blue the Gemological Institute of America had ever graded, I had to buy it.”

Overall, Christie’s sale of Magnificent Jewels in Geneva on Wednesday totaled $154.2 million, the highest total ever for a jewelry auction.

The previous record was set just the day before when Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva realized $141.5 million, breaking a record that had stood since the Elizabeth Taylor jewelry sale in 2011.

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The auction was sold 85 percent by lot and 94 percent by value.

Also setting new world auction records, but not included in the auction’s top 10, was a 21.41-carat Russian alexandrite, which sold for $1.3 million and set the record for the highest price paid for an alexandrite.

A 49.04-carat pink sapphire was purchased for $2 million, setting a new world auction record for highest price paid for a pink sapphire.

“The jewelry market continues to remain extremely vibrant and we look forward to a buoyant season as we move into auctions at Christie’s Hong Kong, Paris and New York,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of Christie’s jewelry department.

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