The Farnese Blue, a 6.16-carat pear-shaped dark grey-blue diamond which has passed through the hands of four European royal families, has been sold at auction for $6.7m (£4.9m)
The diamond hit the public market for the first time in over 300 years and was sold after four minutes of bidding Sotheby’s Geneva auction.
Given to Elisabeth Farnese the Queen of Spain, on a diadem that formerly belonged to Marie-Antoinette, the diamond has subsequently been passed down through four of the most important royal families in Europe: Spain, France, Italy and Austria.
The sale also included a 9.7-carat light purplish pink diamond ring which soared past its pre-sale high estimate of $702,000 (£521,034) and selling for $2.6m (£1.9m).
Eddie LeVian CEO of family-owned jewellers Le Vian, commenting on the sale, said: “It’s an appropriately regal result. While the wealth gap has increased worldwide, the sale of the Farnese Blue proves that certain unique, irreplaceable assets, whether natural diamonds or works of art, continue to achieve prices beyond a normal person’s imagination.
“In recent decades, the world’s rarest natural coloured diamonds have become increasingly highly prized as the miracles of nature they are, not least because they are in increasingly short supply.
“Natural fancy colour blue diamonds are the rarest colour diamonds in existence. Whenever money was no object throughout the centuries, natural diamonds, as the hardest element found on earth, have repeatedly symbolised royal love.
“The royal provenance of the Farnese Blue is irreplaceable – I’m not surprised the buyer was ready to pay a handsome premium for the prospect of owning a stone which weighs about a gram, captures the imagination and prompts the question How high is high?”