Famous Blue Diamond Up For Auction
A historic blue-gray diamond will go on sale at Christie's London on December 10. The diamond, a 35.56 carat beauty, is known as the Wittelsbach diamond and as the Telegraph reports, it was given to Infanta Margarita Teresa by her father King Philip IV of Spain on the occasion of her engagement (to her uncle Leopold I of Austria no less). It was part of first the Austrian and then the Bavarian crown jewels before ending up back in private hands. It has been part of the same collection since 1964.
The diamond has the ideal combination of rarity (blue diamonds of this size are extraordinary scarce) and historical provenance and has been estimated to bring as much as £10 million at Christie's. Even six months ago it would seem a slam dunk that this gem would meet or even exceed estimates (in May a 13.39 carat blue diamond stunner sold for a world record price of $8.9 million). Now, however, even those at the highest ends of the market are cautious.