By Brecken Branstrator
brecken.branstrator@nationaljeweler.com
This 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, named the “Zoe Diamond” by the private buyer from Hong Kong who purchased it, set a record for any blue diamond at auction when it sold for $32.6 million at Sotheby’s last week.New York--A 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond once owned by “Bunny” Mellon set two records at Sotheby’s--price paid for a blue diamond at $32.6 million and price per-carat for any diamond at $3.3 million.

The stone, which was renamed the “Zoe Diamond” by its Hong Kong purchaser, was part of the “Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon: Jewelry & Objects of Vertu” sale at Sotheby’s New York on Thursday and Friday.

Mellon, whose real name was Rachel, was a well-known horticulturist, art collector and philanthropist, and was the second wife of wealthy horse breeder Paul Mellon. She died earlier this year at the age of 103.

The auction of her belongings totaled $45 million, more than doubling its pre-sale estimate. It was 97 percent sold by lot and 100 percent sold by value, according to Sotheby’s, with 85 percent of the lots exceeding their high estimates.

Other top lots in the sale included a fancy blue diamond pendant that doubled its pre-sale estimate when it sold for $3 million, and a gold and diamond rivière necklace by Cartier that also doubled its early estimates by garnering $2.8 million.

Two gold, sapphire, diamond, and ruby bracelets also went up on the auction block--one signed by Cartier sold for $989,000, and the other (unsigned) sold for $557,000. A gold, enamel and gem-set Verdura table ornament sold well over its estimate of $10,000 to $15,000 when it garnered $221,000.

Rounding out the top 10 were a platinum, ruby and diamond bracelet for $149,000; an 18-karat gold, platinum, fancy yellow diamond and diamond bracelet from Black Starr & Frost that also sold for $149,000; a gold, rock crystal, and gem-set rhinoceros that sold for $143,000; and an 18-karat gold, platinum, citrine, and diamond Cartier bracelet that sold for $137,000.

The full list of results can be found on the Sotheby’s website.



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