Diamond earrings sell for world record $57.4m

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A pair of pear-shaped diamond earrings have sold at auction in Geneva for ($57.4 million) £44.4 million, breaking all previous records.

The jewels, weighing almost 16 carats each, are cut in identical shapes but are different colours. The pink diamond was nicknamed Artemis, and the blue Apollo. The stones were both mined in South Africa.

As blue diamonds are rarer than pink, Apollo sold for a higher price – $42.1 million, whereas Artemis sold for $15.3 million. Both were bought by the same anonymous buyer and will be kept as a pair.

David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division said: “It has been a privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with the superb Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink, which have now been renamed The Memory of Autumn Leaves and The Dream of Autumn Leaves. I am delighted that the stones will remain together as earrings.”

The Apollo diamond was rated Type IIb, putting it in the top 1% of all the world’s diamonds. The only mine to regularly produce blue diamonds is the Cullinan mine in South Africa and less than 0.1% of mined diamonds are blue. The Fancy Vivid Blue shade of Apollo is even rarer still.

The earrings were offered by Sotheby’s as separate lots, assuming that there would be a lack of buyers who wanted to take the pair together.

Despite the record-breaking final auction price, the earrings fell short of their original combined estimate of $70 million.

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