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  Most expensive diamond-world record set by The Wittelsbach Diamond
 LONDON, England -- The 17th century Wittelsbach diamond, known as "Der Blaue Wittelsbacher," weighing 35.56 carats, was sold at Christie's auction house for 16.4 million pounds (24.3 million dollars, 18.7 million euros)-setting the world record for the Most expensive diamond.

   Photo:"It is a great honour and a lifetime dream to handle a museum-quality stone such as the Wittelsbach," said Francois Curiel, international head of jewellery at Christie's.  (enlarge photo)

  Known as "Der Blaue Wittelsbacher," the gem was bought by King Philippe IV of Spain in 1664 and given in a dowry when his daughter Margaret Theresa married Leopold I of Austria.

   It subsequently entered the Austrian and then Bavarian Crown jewels, although it has been in a private collection since 1964.

   "The appearance of a large blue diamond, among the rarest of all colours, with a history that can be traced back to the 17th century and 300 years of royal connections (is) a thrilling occasion," he added.

  Graff Diamonds purchased the Wittelsbach Diamond, a cushion-shaped, deep grayish-blue 35.56 carat VS2 stone, for an average price of $683,667 per carat.

François Curiel, chairman of Christie's Europe and the sale's auctioneer, wrote in a statement: "At $24.3 million, the 35.56-carat Wittelsbach blue diamond, dating to the seventeenth century, has become the most expensive diamond sold at auction, topping the previous record of $16.5 million for a 100-carat diamond in 1995 in Geneva.
    It was purchased by the leading international jeweler Laurence Graff, bidding against Aleks Paul of Essex Global Trading, a professional of Russian origin based in New York.”

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   Wednesday, December 10, 2008

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