Tag Archives: Wittlesbach

Pink Diamond Sets World Price Record

The only jewelry news that could steal the spotlight from Prince William giving Kate his mother’s sapphire engagement ring is this little tidbit:

An extremely rare pink diamond just smashed the price record for most expensive diamond (and piece of jewelry) sold at auction – in the world!

Sotheby’s placed early price estimates in the high $20 million range, but one megarich diamond collector paid nearly double that paltry sum – a whopping $46.16 million!

And that’s not the half of it. This fellow, Laurence Graff, already owns the Wittelsbach-Graff diamond which used to hold the title of most expensive stone in the world at $24.3 million. That is until this flawless 24.78-carat piece of pink perfection went under the hammer.

Call me crazy, but how can the entire state of California be nearly bankrupt and this dude have enough in the coffers to buy flawless diamonds in his spare time?

That said, I find it interesting that Laurence Graff is a self-made gazillionaire – a 14-year-old dropout from the mean streets of London. So I suppose this Charles Dickens tale of rags to riches has the kind of happy ending any self-proclaimed jewelry hound would find hard to resist.

Now. About that budget deficit…

The Jewelry Insider

December 30, 2009


Another year down, jewelry hounds, another year of frivolous fun in jewelry land. We’ve seen red carpets sparkle (and stink up the joint), the entire D-list attempt to start their own jewelry lines, stunning diamond auction sales despite a Bernie Madoff-induced luxury melt down, and plenty of ‘lower jaw-drop’ moments.

As we bloggers are predisposed to do this time of year, I’ve taken a look back at 2009 and culled together some of my favorite jewelry moments with some of yours. The result? This little Top Ten list for your reading pleasure.

Thanks to all for joining this shiny place of jewel-filled sarcasm, schadenfreude and joy. Here’s to another bling-filled year!

10. Brad Pitt’s Diamond Daughter

The third most popular post this year involved a random tidbit detailing Brad Pitt’s diamond jewelry gift to his daughter, Shiloh. Lesson learned? Some kids have all the luck. And always write about Brad Pitt.

9. Technicolor Diamonds

Lower jaw-drop moment of the year alert: Despite the economic woes taking most of us mortals to our knees this year, some lucky as*&, I mean, folks snapped up some stunning natural-color diamonds off the auction block in 2009 – inlcuding the Wittelsbach blue diamond that broke the record for most expensive rock ever sold at auction.

8. Woodstock/Mad Men Mania

The 60s came back with a vengeance this year, with Woodstock celebrating it’s 40th anniversary and Mad Men taking the entertainment and fashion worlds by storm. Jewelry fashion followed suit, with this fourth most popular post for 2009.

7. Celebrity Jewelry Robbery Ring

Just when you thought Hollywood couldn’t get any more tawdry, a ring of wannabe reality star youngster thugs robbed D-listers like Paris, Lindsay, and that vacuous brunette from The Hills of their beloved family jewels. The horror! And they didn’t even get an agent out of it…

6. Paris Rules

Nope. Not talking about ‘the Hilton’ – despite writing about her over a dozen times this year (sorry ’bout that). Paris, France was – yet again – my favorite Fashion Week by far, with jewelry exploding all over the catwalks. Bigger, better, bling-filled bliss.

5. Vampire Chic

From Team Edward to True Blood, it was all about the undead in 2009. Enter: blood red rubies, cross necklaces, vampire-inspired jewelry lines, and lots of black eye-linered brooding. Oh – and angst.

4. Paula Abdul – From Mess to Maven

Oh, Paula. How you confuse me so. You gave us some of the absolute worst fashion moments on the red carpet in 2009, yet somehow your jewelry line sells out in minutes? And recently, you’ve made some classic red carpet appearances with jewelry that actually fits the occasion. Let’s hope you have enough sense (and money in the coffers) to keep your current stylist now that Ellen is stealing your spotlight.

3. Celebrity Engagement Rings

From The Bachelor bungle, to my second most popular post – Ivanka Trump’s engagement ring bling – the celebrity world of betrothal never disappoints. Here are some of the year’s highlights for your drooling pleasure.

2. Angelina’s Oscar Emeralds

The most popoular post of 2009 was my early report of Angelina Jolie’s emerald Oscar jewelry. Sorry, Jen – 2010 is gonna be your year.

1. Michelle Obama

Mighty Michelle jump-started a sinking fashion industry when her husband’s historic campaign and election took the country by storm. So I joined the throngs of other fashion bloggers who followed her every move in those first few months of 2009. The good news is, she continues to breathe fresh life into the jewelry world with statement pieces, brooches and classic pearls akimbo. No matter your political persuasion, you gotta give it up for bling you can believe in.

Did I miss any of your favs? Weigh in, jewelry hounds!

The Jewelry Insider

December 2, 2009


Hold on to your haute couture, jewelry hounds. One whopper of a diamond just entered the hands of a lucky (and filthy rich) bidder on Tuesday.

A rare, 5-carat pink diamond was auctioned off by Christie’s Hong Kong for a record $10.8 million, putting some shine back into the world’s rare and large stones market.

The stone, of a “vivid pink” hue and considered near perfect but not quite flawless, triggered brisk bidding with a final price that smashed the previous record set 15 years ago in Geneva for a 19.66-carat stone that sold for $7.4 million. The pink gem’s per-carat price of $2.2 million was also the highest ever paid for any diamond at auction, Christie’s said.

“No stone has ever been sold for $2 million a carat, we were used to … a million dollars a carat for colored diamonds but never 2 million,” Francois Curiel, Christie’s Europe chairman told Reuters. “This is an absolute record that is not going to be broken for a while I believe.”

But the famed Wittelsbach Blue Diamond still holds the record as the world’s most expensive jewel ever sold at auction, fetching a mere $24 million last year. Just a drop in the proverbial bucket, right?

Pink diamonds have always been coveted by the rich, the famous and we mere mortals alike. Click here to see which celeb dazzled their loved one with a pink diamond engagement ring for the ages – not quite 10 carats, but a keeper nonetheless.

The Jewelry Insider

May 14, 2009


Colored diamonds are coveted by jewelry lovers everywhere, and despite the economic woe affecting the luxury industry, sales for big, rare stones are still going strong.

While nothing can compare to the world’s most expensive blue diamond, The Wittelsbach, which sold to diamond dealer, Laurence Graff, last year for $24.3 million, Sotheby’s just unloaded another blue bauble for a stunning $9.4 million.

“The price achieved is a world record by value per carat. This will certainly increase consumers’ confidence in buying sparkling stones,” said KK Sharma, executive director, Indian Diamond Institute (ID

African miner, Petra Diamonds, unearthed the gem from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, famous for yielding most of the world’s best blue diamonds. The fancy vivid blue gem weighs 7.03 carats and is rated internally flawless by the G.I.A. – high praise for a natural stone.

According to the Natural Colored Diamond Association, only one diamond in 10,000 possesses a natural color so strong that it can be classified as fancy color diamond, with reds and blues being the most rare.

Colored diamond fans who don’t have millions lying around to snatch a natural stone for their own jewelry box, can find more affordable treated diamonds in every color of the rainbow.

Treated colored diamonds are actually natural white diamonds that are subjected to intense heat to give the stones a range of different hues – from black and pink to yellow and blue. And you don’t have to have an auction paddle to snatch one of your very own.

Cure your case of the blues on Jewelry.com, where you can shop for many treated colored diamond styles from the coffers of the retailers you trust.

Then take a look at this video of the real thing. And die a thousand deaths.

The Jewelry Insider

December 12, 2008


As you jewelry hounds know, I’ve been tracking the Christie’s auction of the stunning 35.56-carat Wittelsbach blue diamond. The rare blue gem was expected to fetch around $15 million, but global economic woes and recent jewelry auction disappointments put the estimated figure in jeopardy, to say the least.

The 17th-century stone was originally 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. The diamond remained in royal custody for over 300 years until it found its way into a private collection, where it has remained since 1964.

So what did the historic diamond go for? How about a record-setting $24.3 million! Recession? What recession?

“In the midst of these challenging times, we were thrilled to achieve an historic price for an historic diamond,” said Francois Curiel, chairman of Christie’s Europe and auctioneer for Wednesday’s sale.

The previous sales record was a mere $16.5 million for a 100-carat diamond in 1995.

International jeweler Laurence Graff was the wealthy winner on Wednesday, Christies said in a release. Graff was bidding against Aleks Paul of Essex Global Trading, a professional of Russian origin based in New York.

What on earth will Graff do with the dazzling diamond? According to Bloomberg news, Graff’s son, Francois, said they care less about the historical provenance of the stone and more about its unique diamond properties.

“We’re looking at the stone for what the stone is.” Graff Diamonds will re-cut the diamond with the intention of making the slightly chipped stone flawless and a deeper color, he said: “We’ll lose a few carats, but nothing too substantial.”

What’s a few carats between friends, really…

The Jewelry Insider

November 3, 2008


Democrats aren’t the only ones with a penchant for blue these days. Christie’s London is putting an historic blue diamond on the auction block on December 10th, and the little beauty is expected to fetch a whopping $15 million.

The 17th century gem weighs in at 35.56 carats and is known to collectors as the Wittelsbach diamond. The stone was originally 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. Um…ew.

The diamond remained in royal custody for over 300 years until it found its way into a private collection, where it has remained since 1964.

“The appearance of a large blue diamond, among the rarest of colors, with a history that can be traced back to the 17th Century and 300 years of royal connections will surely be a thrilling occasion for all collectors of … rare jewels,” said Francois Curiel, international head of jewelry.

Six months ago a 13.39 carat blue diamond stunner sold for a world record price of $8.9 million, but now that the global economy has a serious case of the blues, it’s not clear that Christie’s will be able to secure their estimated purchase price.

To be continued…