Jewellery Outlook


Cullinan blue diamond breaks world record at auction
GENEVA, May 13, 2009 - Petra Diamonds’ blue diamond produced from the Cullinan mine has sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $9.49 million, or $1,349,752 per carat, a new world record price per carat for any gemstone sold at auction and the highest price for a fancy vivid blue diamond sold at auction.

Rare 7.03 carat blue diamond
The important fancy vivid blue, internally flawless, cushion-shaped diamond weighing 7.03 carats sold to an anonymous buyer on May 12 as the centrepiece of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva.

This sale price has surpassed the world record price per carat achieved for any gemstone at auction, which was formerly held by a 3.73 carat, fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond which sold for US$1,328,444 per carat at a Sotheby’s auction in May 2008.

It also surpasses the world record for a fancy vivid blue diamond sold at auction, which was formerly held by a 6.04 carat, fancy vivid blue diamond ring which sold for US$7,981,835 at a Sotheby’s auction in October 2007.

Petra Diamonds CEO Johan Dippenaar said: “The price achieved at the Sotheby’s auction for this exquisite, internally flawless blue diamond is a world record by value per carat and the highest price to be achieved by a fancy vivid blue diamond, and reflects how incredibly rare and collectable such an important blue diamond is to the connoisseur.”

He added, “The renowned Cullinan mine continues to captivate the world with spectacular diamonds, building on its legacy as the source of some of the world’s most famous gems. This has been a very successful partnership with Sotheby’s, one of the pre-eminent names in jewellery sales, and has provided the perfect platform to garner international recognition for a gem of this calibre.”

David Bennett, Chairman, Europe & the Middle East, Sotheby’s International Jewellery department, said after the sale: “We have seen this diamond capture the imagination of collectors around the world – particularly in Hong Kong, New York, London and Geneva, where we have exhibited it over the last few weeks.”

The blue diamond ranks among the most important diamonds ever to be offered for sale by Sotheby’s. It was cut from a 26.58 carat rough discovered in 2008 at Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan diamond mine in South Africa, the world’s most consistently reliable source of blue diamonds.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has graded the stone as fancy vivid blue in colour and internally flawless in clarity, the highest possible grading for a blue diamond.