Princie pink Golconda diamond sells for £25.5m

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Intense pink 34.65ct stone purchased by anonymous phone bidder.

A fancy intense pink diamond weighing almost 35cts has gone under the hammer in New York for $39.3 million (£25.5m), making it the most valuable diamond ever sold at auction in the US.

The cushion-cut Golconda stone, known as The Princie Diamond, was sold at Christie’s New York yesterday. It was the lead lot of the auction house’s Magnificent Jewels sale.

The 34.65ct pink diamond set a new record at Christie’s New York, selling for $39,323,750, approximately $1.1m (£745,000) per carat.

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The stone originates from the ancient Golconda mines in South Central India and was purchased by an anonymous collector bidding by phone.

Christie’s said the sale price sets a new record jewels sold at Christie’s, surpassing the previous house record set by the Wittelsbach diamond, which sold for $24.3 million (£15.9m) in December 2008.

Rahul Kadakia, head of jewellery at Christie’s Americas and Switzerland, said: “A major event took place in the global auction industry with the record breaking sale of The Princie Diamond at Christie’s New York. Aside from Christie’s sale of the legendary Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, this was the most successful jewellery auction ever held in the United States and Christie’s was proud to have orchestrated the sale of such an historic gemstone.”

The Princie is said to possess "all of the most desirable qualities today’s collectors seek in diamonds" thanks to its large size, impressive shape and polish, exceptional colour and noble history.

It was once owned by the Royal family of Hyderabad and was first put up for auction in 1960 when it was purchased by the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels for £46,000, which corresponds to about US$1.3 million today.

Van Cleef & Arpels named the stone the Princie after the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda, who attended a party at the brand’s Paris store with his mother Maharani Sita Devi.

Diamond and pearls were among the other high-profile lots sold at the Magnificent Jewels auction, including a D-colour rectangular-cut 30ct diamond and a marquise-cut D colour diamond ring from Harry Winston.

The total sale of over 290 jewels hit $81.4 million (£52.8m) marking the highest various owner jewellery sale total at auction in the United States.
 

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