In Geneva on Tuesday, an extremely uncommon blue diamond was auctioned off for nearly $44 million, making it one of the priciest diamonds ever sold at an auction, according to Christie’s. The Bleu Royal, weighing 17.61 carats, is also the biggest internally flawless fancy vivid blue gem to ever be offered at an auction.
The highlight of this month’s luxury auctions in Geneva was a particular item that was highly coveted. The event also showcased several pieces with ties to iconic films, such as Audrey Hepburn’s pearl jewelry and Marlon Brando’s personally engraved watch.
The Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction anticipated The Bleu Royal to sell for a price range of $35 million to $50 million.
After a competitive bidding process that lasted seven minutes, the item was purchased by an unidentified individual for 39.505 million Swiss francs ($43.8 million) with tax and fees included.
The Oppenheimer Blue was sold at an auction in 2016 for $57.5 million, making it the highest priced diamond ever sold by Christie’s until Tuesday’s sale of the Bleu Royal.
Meanwhile, rival auction house Sotheby’s…
Last year, the De Beers Cullinan Blue was sold.
The amount of $57 million was paid.
A special internet auction for jewels is currently taking place, ending on November 16. The highlight of the sale is the pearl necklace worn by Hepburn in the 1953 movie “Roman Holiday.”
Hepburn, the actress who portrayed a princess in the romantic comedy, chose the piece of jewelry from a variety offered by the Austro-Hungarian jeweler Furst. She later returned it along with a signed photograph.
The object is being sold by a collector from Europe and its initial cost is 18,000 Swiss francs ($20,000).
$5M for Marlon Brando’s “Apocalypse Now” watch
Christie’s held a special auction on Monday specifically for their Passion for Time watches. One of the items up for bidding was the watch worn by Brando in the 1979 film “Apocalypse Now” which sold for a little over $5 million.
The Rolex GMT-Master from around 1972 features a personalized engraving of “M. Brando” on the back, done by the Oscar-winning American actor himself.
“The engraving remains crisp, indicating that the watch has been worn, but not extensively,” explained Eli Fayon, a junior specialist in watches at Christie’s Geneva, in an interview with AFP prior to the auction.
In 1995, Brando gave this item to his adopted daughter Petra as a gift. She later passed it on to her husband on their wedding night in 2003. The item was recently sold at an auction in 2019 for the price of $1.95 million.