May 19, 2012

Historic diamond sells for $9.7 million

A centuries-old diamond passed down through generations of European royalty fetched nine million Swiss francs ($9.7 million) at auction in Geneva on Tuesday. The Sotheby's 'Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels' sale was held at the Beau Rivage hotel.

The 34.98-carat “Beau Sancy” diamond measures 2.3 centimetres in height, is 1.9 cm wide and 1.1 cm deep. The diamond's name comes from diamond collector Nicolas Harley de Sancy, who bought it in Constantinople in the late 16th century. Passed down through the royal families of France, England, Prussia and the Netherlands, the Beau de Sancy has witnessed 400 years of European history. An anonymous telephone bidder purchased the jewel, put on the market by the House of Prussia and described by Sotheby’s as one of the “most fascinating and romantic” gems ever to come to auction.