Bloomberg headline, Dec 9: "Diamond May Fetch 9 Million Pounds at Christie’s, Defying Slump".
Bloomberg headline, Dec 10: "Diamond Sells for Record $24.3 Million, Defying Slump".
Consider the slump defied! But the best line comes from the buyer, Laurence Graff, who’s going to recut the stone to make it flawless.
"We’ll lose a few carats, but nothing too substantial."
There’s a lot of history to this stone — it was given by King Philip to his daughter, the Infanta Margarita Teresa, as part of her dowry when she married Emperor Leopold I of Austria in 1667. So it seems a shame to chip away at it for the sake of flawlessness, which in any event has always been the most overrated of virtues.
Incidentally, the rest of the sale was a bust:
Forty-five percent of the lots were left unsold, including a 4.24-carat pink diamond pendant whose lower estimate had been reduced from 330,000 pounds to 200,000 pounds.
"The market is difficult, but it’s still there for the very best," said Sancroft-Baker.
There’s a lesson here, for any hedge-fund wives having financial strains. If all you’ve got is a 4.24-carat pink diamond pendant, fuhgeddaboudit. Dealers aren’t even getting out of bed these days unless you’ve got a provenance dating back to King Philip and a carat weight in the 30s.