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Wednesday, 01 May 2013 18:33

LONDON: A rare fancy deep-blue diamond ring has set a new world record at an auction here after it sold for a whopping $ 9.5 million - four times its pre-sale estimate.

The rare gem weighing 5.30 carats sold at Bonhams Fine Jewelry sale in London's New Bond Street yesterday for a record price of $ 1.8m per carat beating the previous record for a blue diamond of $ 1.68m per carat.

The diamond was bought by Graff Diamonds, the London based international diamond house. Bidding came from round the world, Bonhams said in a statement.

The fancy deep-blue diamond is set in a 'Trombino' ring made by Bulgari, the renowned Italian jeweller favoured by Hollywood film stars, and the epitome of fashion and innovation during the 1960s.

The ring was made in 1965 and had been estimated to fetch $ 1.5 to $ 2.3 million at the Bonhams auction.

"We are delighted with the price it has made. It was a sensational stone which charmed everyone who viewed it prior to the sale. Blue diamonds, especially those over 5.00 carats, are extremely rare to see on the market and continue to be highly sought-after," Jean Ghika, Director of Bonhams Jewelry Department for Europe commented after the sale.

Blue diamonds are very rarely seen on the market and fancy-coloured diamonds are among the most valuable and sought-after in the world.

They have delighted royals and celebrities over the centuries, with the most famous blue 'Hope Diamond' bought by King Louis XIV of France in the late 17th Century.

The stunning 45.52-carat diamond, originating from India was eventually stolen from the Crown Jewels by thieves in the French Revolution and then smuggled to London, the auction house said.

The Bulgari ring features a cushion-shaped fancy deep-blue diamond. It is set horizontally within a mount pave-set with brilliant-cut diamonds and courses of baguette-cut diamonds.

According to Bonhams, the term "fancy" is used to describe a diamond of intense colour and the colour "fancy deep-blue" is one of the rarest. Blue diamonds are structurally very pure and account for less than one per cent of all diamonds mined.

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