Economic conditions aren't so dismal that records can't be set. Sotheby's just moved a flawless, rare blue diamond for nearly $9.5 million – proving that taste can prevail even when wallets are generally gripped shut.
The rectangular blue diamond weighs 7.03 carats and sold at the highest price per carat ever fetched at auction – a whopping $1,349,752 (including the commission to Sotheby's). It's also the most paid for a "fancy vivid blue diamond" ... I didn't realize that such records were tracked. The winner chose to remain anonymous (can you blame him or her?) who was bidding by phone. The auctioned ended with a veritable telephonic battle that lasted 15 minutes.
The record until the blue diamond went under the gavel was $7.9 million for 6.04 carats. It was set in October 2007 in Hong Kong. Sotheby's sold the last record-breaker, as well.
In all, the auction house moved $35.7 million in gems and jewelry from 266 lots – not counting another 80 that didn't sell.
David Bennett, the chairman of Sotheby's jewelry department covering Europe and the Middle East, remarked, "It is fantastic in this market and shows that these rare things are very much in demand."
No, David. What's fantastic is that such items are in demand and that people are still willing to pay for them!