A rare, two-stone ring set a new record price per carat for a blue diamond at auction when it sold for $15.7 million to an Asian collector, Christie's auction house said.
The Bvlgari Blue Diamond, a ring designed in the 1970s, was expected to fetch around $12 million at an auction Wednesday in New York, owing to the rarity and size.
Featuring a triangular-shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond of 10.95 carats – paired with triangular-shaped colorless diamond of 9.87 carats – it was the largest triangular-shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction, Christie's said.
After a trading bets on the phone in increments of $500,000 with a European collector, an Asian collector secured the piece for $15,762,500 with premium.
Fancy Vivid blue diamonds are among the rarest and most sought-after of colored diamonds, as only one in about 10 million possess a color pure enough to qualify as “Fancy Vivid,” according to Christie's.
The piece was the final jewel offered up in the 447-item auction, which brought in $52.5 million, Christie's said.
The Bvlgari Blue came from a private European collector who bought the ring at Bvlgari's flagship boutique in Rome, Italy, in 1972 for his wife to celebrate the birth of their first child, Christie's said.
Its final sale price in 1972 was about $1 million.