Jewellery has always been associated with riches and elegance. Over the centuries, the rich and powerful have adorned themselves with precious stones and metals, commissioning exquisite pieces to showcase their status and taste. As a result, some of the most expensive jewellery pieces ever sold have fetched jaw-dropping prices at auctions around the world. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most extravagant and priceless jewellery pieces ever sold at auction.
Throughout history, people have purchased and commissioned wonderful jewellery to enhance their personal collections. Such is their interest that some collectors spend millions of dollars at auctions to acquire rare gemstones and iconic treasures. Surprisingly, the number of the most costly jewellery pieces sold at auction has reached an all-time high.
When nature’s wonder is combined with man’s artistry, stunning pieces are created that sell for exorbitant sums at recognised auction houses. These unique jewellery designs, which range from brilliant earrings to dazzling neckpieces and rings, primarily celebrate the rarity of the gemstone, its history, and the outstanding craftsmanship involved.
The Pink Star Diamond: $71.2 million
In 2017, the Pink Star Diamond, a 59.6-carat pink diamond, became the world’s most expensive jewel ever sold at auction. The diamond was mined in South Africa in 1999 and was cut and polished by Steinmetz Diamonds over two years. The Pink Star Diamond was first sold in 2013 for a record-breaking $83 million, but the buyer defaulted on payment, leading to Sotheby’s reacquiring the diamond and putting it up for auction again in 2017.
Oppenheimer Blue: $57.5 million
The Oppenheimer Blue diamond is the largest and most expensive blue diamond ever sold at auction. Weighing in at 14.62 carats, the diamond was previously owned by Sir Philip Oppenheimer, a member of the family that once controlled De Beers, the largest diamond company in the world. The diamond was sold at Christie’s in Geneva in 2016 for $57.5 million, setting a new record for the highest price paid for a blue diamond at auction.
The Graff Pink: $46 million
The Graff Pink, a 24.78-carat pink diamond, is one of the most famous jewels in the world. The diamond was owned by Harry Winston before being purchased by Laurence Graff, a British billionaire and jeweler. The Graff Pink was sold at Sotheby’s in Geneva in 2010 for $46 million, making it the most expensive pink diamond ever sold at auction.
Blue Moon of Josephine: $48.5 million
The Blue Moon of Josephine diamond, weighing 12.03 carats, was discovered in South Africa in 2014. The diamond was named after the daughter of King Harald V of Norway, and it was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2015 for $48.5 million. The diamond was purchased by Hong Kong businessman Joseph Lau, who named it after his daughter.
Winston Blue: $23.8 million
The Winston Blue is a 13.22-carat flawless blue diamond that was sold at Christie’s in Geneva in 2014 for $23.8 million. The diamond was named after Harry Winston, the famous jeweler who owned it before it was sold at auction. The Winston Blue was purchased by a Hong Kong-based jeweler, Chow Tai Fook.
Perfect Pink: $14.1 million
The Perfect Pink is a 14.23-carat pink diamond that was sold at Christie’s in Hong Kong in 2010 for $14.1 million. The diamond is considered one of the finest pink diamonds in the world due to its color and clarity. The buyer of the Perfect Pink remains unknown.
The Princie Diamond: $39.3 million
The Princie Diamond is a 34.65-carat pink diamond that was sold at Christie’s in New York in 2013 for $39.3 million. The diamond was discovered in India in the 18th century and was once owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad. The diamond is named after the Nizam’s son, who was also called Princie. The buyer of the Princie Diamond remains anonymous.
The Blue Belle of Asia: $17.3 million
The Blue Belle of Asia is a 392.52-carat sapphire that was sold at Christie’s in Geneva in 2014 for $17.3 million. The sapphire was discovered in Sri Lanka in 1926 and was previously owned by a European noble family. The Blue Belle of Asia is considered one of the finest sapphires in the world due to its size, colour, and clarity.
The Lady Blunt Stradivarius: $15.9 million
While not a piece of jewellery, the Lady Blunt Stradivarius violin deserves a mention on this list. The violin was made in 1721 by the legendary Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari and is considered one of the finest instruments ever made. The violin was named after Lady Anne Blunt, an English aristocrat who owned the violin for over three decades. The Lady Blunt Stradivarius was sold at auction in 2011 for $15.9 million, with all proceeds going to aid victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
The Bvlgari Blue: $15.7 million
The Bvlgari Blue is a 5.3-carat blue diamond that was sold at Christie’s in Geneva in 2013 for $15.7 million. The diamond was previously owned by the famous jewellery company Bvlgari and is considered one of the finest blue diamonds in the world due to its size and colour.
In conclusion, these jewellery pieces are not only stunning and exquisite, but they are also worth an incredible amount of money. Owning such pieces of jewellery is not only a sign of wealth but also a status symbol. Auctions for these precious gems are highly anticipated events, with collectors and enthusiasts from around the world bidding millions of dollars for the chance to own a piece of history. It is truly amazing to see how something as small as a diamond or a sapphire can hold so much value and meaning to those who own and admire them.