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World's most expensive jewels sold at auctions

Last updated on: April 18, 2013 08:56 IST

World's most expensive jewels sold at auctions

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An extraordinary 34-carat 'Princie' diamond from the mines of Golconda in South India, once owned by the world's richest man - the last Nizam of Hyderabad - fetched a whopping $39 million at an auction.

The diamond - a 34.65-carat Fancy Intense Pink cushion-cut sparkler - was purchased by an anonymous collector bidding by phone.

It set a new record at Christie's New York on Tuesday, selling for $39,323,750 with premium, or $1,135,000 per carat.

The diamond was once owned by the Royal family of Hyderabad, rulers of one of the wealthiest provinces of the Mughal Empire, Christie's said in a statement.

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Image: 'Princie' diamond.
Photographs: Couirtesy, Christie's.

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Among important large diamonds, the Princie possesses all of the most desirable qualities collectors seek in diamonds: large size, desirable shape and polish, exceptional colour and quality, Golconda origins, and a noble history.

First offered at auction in 1960 as "Property of a Gentleman" - later revealed to be the Nizam of Hyderabad himself, Sir Mir Osman Ali Khan - the diamond was purchased by the London branch of Van Cleef & Arpels for a mere 46,000 pounds.

The Nizam was proclaimed as the richest man in the world by Time magazine in 1937.

The diamond's unique name was bestowed at a party at the firm's Paris store, where it was christened the "Princie" in honour of the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda, who attended the party with his mother Maharani Sita Devi.

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Image: Princie diamond.
Photographs: Courtesy, Christie's.

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Fancy Intense Pink Diamond

Price: $46 million

Year: 2010

Place: Sotheby's Geneva

A rare pink diamond smashed the world record for a jewel sold at auction after British diamond dealer Laurence Graff bid over $46 million for the precious stone.

The 24.78 carat "fancy intense pink" diamond was sold for $46,158,674 by Sotheby's.

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Image: An employee poses with a 24.78 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond at Sotheby's in Geneva.
Photographs: Valentin Flauraud/Reuters.

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Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond

Price: $24.3 million

Year: 2008

Place: Christie's London

The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond is a 31.06 carats (6.21 g) fancy deep-blue diamond with internally flawless clarity.

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Image: Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond.
Photographs: Physolamuse/Wikimedia Commons.

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Perfect Pink Diamond

Price: $23.2 million

Year: 2010

Place: Christie's, Hong Kong

The Perfect Pink, a rare 14.23-carat Fancy Intense Pink rectangular-cut diamond, which sold for $23.2 million, was the most expensive jewel ever sold in Asia. The type IIa, VVS2 diamond sold to an anonymous buyer.

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Image: Perfect Pink Diamond.
Photographs: Courtesy, Christie's.

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BVLGARI ring

Price: $15.7 million

Year: 2010

Place: Christie's New York 

The stunning BVLGARI ring from a private European collection has a triangular-shaped, colourless diamond of 9.87 carats paired with a stunning triangular-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond of 10.95 carats.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Christie's.

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Wallis Simpson's Panther Bracelet

Price: $12.4 million

Year: 2010

Place: Sotheby's London

A bracelet owned by Wallis Simpson was a sparkler at the Sotheby's auction in 2010.

The Cartier-designed onyx and diamond panther was sold at the highest price for a bracelet at any auction.

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Image: Wallis Simpson's Panther Bracelet.
Photographs: Courtesy, Sotheby's.

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Emerald and diamond tiara

Price: $12.3 million

Year: May 17, 2011

Place: Sotheby's, Geneva

On of the most magnificent jewels from the Sotheby's, this rare emerald and diamond tiara has 11 Colombian emeralds.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Sotheby's.

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Unmounted heart-shaped diamond

Price: $11 million

Year: 2011

Place: Christie's, Geneva

A heart-shaped diamond weighing 56.15 carats, it was cut from the Cullinan Diamonds, and the Cullinan 1 is now a part of Britain's Crown Jewel collection.

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Image: Unmounted heart-shaped diamond.
Photographs: Courtesy, Christie's.

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Fancy vivid pink diamond

Price: $11.8 million

Year: 2009

Place: Christie's, Hong Kong

A priceless vivid pink diamond, it weighs 5 carats and is flanked by a shield-shaped diamond, mounted in platinum and 18k rose gold.

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Image: Fancy vivid pink diamond.


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Empress Eugenie brooch

Price: $10.5 million

Year: 2008

Place: Christie's New York

Designed as an old European-cut diamond openwork sculpted bow, an antique diamond bow brooch, created by by François Kramer for the wife of Napoléon III, Empress Eugeenie.

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Image: Empress Eugenie brooch.
Photographs: Courtesy, Christie's.

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Vivid blue and diamond ring

Price: $10 million

Year: 2011

Place: Sotheby's, Hong Kong

A fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 6.01 carats, flanked on each side by an oval pink diamond weighing 0.46 and 0.44 carat respectively, mounted in platinum.


Image: Vivid blue and diamond ring.
Photographs: Courtesy, Sotheby's.

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