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17.11.10

A 24.78-carat emerald-cut gem graded as fancy intense pink is bought by a London jewelry dealer for 45.4 million francs ($45.6 million), the highest bid for any stone at auction.

The diamond was sold by celebrity jeweller Harry Winston some 60 years ago and has been in a private collection ever since.

Sotheby's said the buyer is British diamond dealer Laurence Graff.

The price easily tops that of the blue 35.56-carat Wittelsbach-Graff diamond auctioned for 15.3 million pounds in 2008.

The 24.78-carat gem, classified by the Gemological Institute of America as "fancy intense pink", was sold by Sotheby's in Geneva.

It has been assessed as type IIa - meaning it is in the top two per cent of the world's diamonds.

"It is a world record price for a jewel at auction," the Telegraph quoted David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's jewellery department in Europe and the Middle East, as he brought down the hammer, as saying.

"It's like pink champagne," he added.

The stone, purchased from American jeweller Harry Winston 60 years ago by the anonymous owner who consigned it for auction in the Swiss city, had a pre-sale estimate of 27-38 million pounds.
Meanwhile, at Christie's wine sale in Geneva, a six-liter imperial Chateau Cheval Blanc's 1947 vintage bottle was sold for 298,500 francs, which is the highest record price for any large-format bottle of wine equivalent to the size of eight standard bottles. Cheval Blanc's famously port-like 1947 vintage, on the other hand, is considered as the greatest wine of the twentieth century. However, the auction record for a standard-sized bottle of wine was set at Sotheby's in Hong Kong last month when three bottles of Chateau Lafite's 1869 vintage each sold for HK$ 1.8 million ($230,000), which was bought by an Asian-national telephone bidder.

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