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Blue Bulgari diamond to go up for sale at Christie's NY jewels sale

posted 15 Oct 2010, 14:20 by Sam Mbale

Christie's previews it's upcoming 40 million (USD) jewel sale, which includes the Bulgari Blue diamond, a pair of imperial topaz earrings and the Vanderbilt diamond necklace.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK USA (OCTOBER 15, 2010) REUTERS - A two-stone fancy vivid blue and colorless diamond ring designed by the house of Bulgari will go up on the auction bloc at Christie's on October 20th.

The 1970s era Bulgari blue diamond is the highlight of Christie's Jewels sale and is expected to fetch more than $15 million dollars (USD).

The triangular shaped Fancy Vivid blue diamond weighs 10.95 carats and is the largest Fancy Vivid blue diamond of this cut ever to be offered at auction.

Rahul Kadakia, the head of Christie's Jewels department, explained that Vivid Blue diamonds are extremely rare and make up only .00001 percent of world diamond production. Usually, he said, the diamonds are cut into 1 or 2 carat stones and are light blue.

"Vivid is the strongest saturation one has in a colored diamond so to have a 10 carat .95 Vivid Blue, we're looking at a stone that is 1 in 50 million and that was back in 1972. The white stone was cut especially to match the shape and stone of the Blue diamond. Back in '72, the owner, and its been with the same family since, paid one million dollars, which was a fortune. So on Wednesday here at Christie's I hope it's going to go on and make more than $15 million (USD)," Kadakia said.

The diamond has been on display in Hong Kong and in various cities in Europe. Christie's has already had interest from international buyers with various reasons for wanting to purchase the ring, said Kadakia.

"We have clients from Russia, from the Middle East, from China all of whom have expressed an interest. why? There's a couple of them who want to buy it as a hedge to what is going on in the financial markets and put away $15 million (USD) on a commodity, on a stone, on a jewel, on a great story, and there are a couple who are buying it simply to wear. We are still in the greatest luxury business out there and at the end of the day the reason jewelry has been selling forever is because it makes you happy."

Also up for sale are a pair of imperial topaz, ruby and diamond earrings designed by JAR. The earrings were originally cut and designed for award winning actress Ellen Barkin and were part of her landmark jewelry collection sale at Christie's in 2006.

Kadakia said that the earrings are valued between $300 and $500 thousand (USD) but he expects they may sell for as much as $700 thousand (USD).

The famous Vanderbilt Diamond Necklace is also a featured lot in the sale. The necklace, estimated between $400,000 - $600,000 (USD), is made of 24 detachable pear shaped diamonds.

In all the auction will feature more than 450 individual pieces, including a custom-designed Barbie doll by designer Stefano Canturi. Canturi was approached by Matel to create the world's most expensive Barbie, which will go up on the auction block in a bid to raise funds for breast cancer research.

Canturi said creating a unique and tasteful head to toe look for Barbie was an exciting challenge.

"Barbie is an iconic doll. She's 50, she's got to be sophisticated, you can't do something tacky. It was perfect. I wanted to create this really beautiful modern neck piece, cascading sort of look. I used my signature cubism collection, which is that very geometric sort of look and then I married her with that very rare pink diamond and that's what brings the value to it," Canturi said.

Collector demand for colored diamonds of this saturation and hue are on the rise according to Kadakia, who said he anticipates the auction price to be at least $300 thousand (USD).

The Barbie lot has no reserve price, which means that she must be sold to the highest bidder.

The most expensive Barbie ever sold at auction at Christie's fetched more $17,091 (USD) in 2006.

Christie's Jewels: The New York Sale will take place on Wednesday, October 20th.

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